Twenty-two staff died in trenching accidents within the first half of this 12 months, a 68% improve over all of 2021 that has prompted the Occupational Security and Well being Administration to launch an enhanced enforcement initiative to higher shield staff from cave-ins and different deadly accidents.
“To emphasize the hazards of disregarding federal office security necessities for trenching and excavation work, OSHA enforcement workers will think about each out there instrument on the company’s disposal,” the company introduced Thursday. “These actions will place extra emphasis on how company officers consider penalties for trenching and excavation-related incidents, together with legal referrals for federal or state prosecution to carry employers and others accountable when their actions or inactions kill staff or put their lives in danger.”
OSHA stated its compliance officers will carry out greater than 1,000 trench inspections nationwide “the place they might cease by, and examine, any excavation website throughout their every day duties,” based on the announcement.
The company highlighted a latest “preventable” incident in Jarrell, Texas, on June 28 during which two staff suffered deadly accidents when an unprotected trench greater than 20 toes deep collapsed on them as they labored. Trench shields, as required by OSHA, sat unused beside the excavation, the company stated.