Trench Deaths, Injuries Rise for Home Builders

Filed in Labor, Safety and Health by on August 3, 2018 2 Comments

The OSHA statistics are startling: Nearly one-quarter of all trench accidents between 2013-2017 happened at single-family jobsites. It’s a troubling trend that NAHB wants to reverse.

During that period, single-family job sites saw more trenching accidents than at pipeline dig sites and road construction. When multifamily job sites are added, residential construction sites accounted for 30% of all trench-related deaths and serious injuries.

OSHA has made reducing trenching and excavation hazards a priority, and for good reason: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, excavation and trench-related fatalities in 2016 were nearly double the average of the previous five years.

In 2017, fatalities involving trenches fell a little, with 17 reported last year compared to 23 in 2016. But when combined with injuries reported to OSHA involving trenches, 2017 was the most dangerous year for trench safety in recent history.

NAHB has a wealth of safety resources on trenching and excavation in its Trenching and Excavation Toolkit. Use it for any concerns you might have about trenches.

For more information on safety resources, contact Rob Matuga at 800-368-5242 x8507.

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  1. Tom Brick says:

    As a building science and residential safety consultant I see this problem getting worse with the trend of sub-contractors using subs of subs without insuring they are properly trained. The “Controlling Authority” must not accept this condition to continue. If they allow it, then we have to assume they condone it and hold them accountable equally.

    • NAHB Now says:

      NAHB recognizes that its members have both a moral and legal obligation to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees and NAHB continues to inform and educate all employers in the home building industry affected by OSHA standards or regulations of their responsibilities and help them operate safe job sites.

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