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New OSHA Guidelines on Safe Trenching Operations Released

October 6, 2011
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released three new guidance products to educate workers and employers about the hazards workers face in trenching operations. The new information products, which are available on OSHA's Publications page, include: Subjects covered in the three documents include proper shoring and sloping; evaluations by competent persons; means of access/egress; atmospheric hazard testing; and protective systems. The guidance also describes the protective measures that are required under OSHA's excavation standards (29 CFR 1926.650, 29 CFR 1926.651, and 29 CFR 1926.652). Spanish-language versions of the documents are also available. OSHA conducts a Special Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavations (Directive CPL 02-00-069 [CPL 2.69]) which sets procedures for enforcement activities wherever trenching and excavation worksites are observed. When OSHA's compliance officers see a trench, they will inspect a trench. For more information, contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org; or Kevin Cannon at (703) 837-5410 or cannonk@agc.org
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