Last week, we shared some newly updated Trenching and Excavation safety information from OSHA, which was part of their priority goals for 2018. Those updates included a public service announcement and updated online resources. The administration has just announced the update of their National Emphasis Program (NEP) on trenching and excavation safety, which features a period of education and prevention outreach.
The new trenching and excavation NEP will be replacing the 33 year old “CPL 02-00-069 - Special Emphasis: Trenching and Excavation” document, which debuted in 1985. Since incidences of trenching and excavation collapses and deaths continue to be on the rise, OSHA decided that it should update the document.
"Removing workers from and helping workers identify trenching hazards is critical," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt, in a press release. "OSHA will concentrate the full force of enforcement and compliance assistance resources to help ensure that employers are addressing these serious hazards."
Beginning October 1, 2018, area enforcement offices and regions are tasked with a 90-day outreach period, for education purposes. Until that 90 days has passed, Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) will not be permitted to initiate trenching and excavation inspections under this NEP, but will continue to enforce the old standard it will eventually replace: the CPL 02-00-069.
During the 90-day period, OSHA offices are encouraged to offer outreach in a number of different ways, including:
Outreach through news organizations, trade magazines, and the greatest construction blog of all time.
Seminars/informational sessions for employers and worker groups, and trade associations
Provide outreach materials to licensing and permitting agencies to give out to contractors
Provide outreach materials to major utility and plumbing companies
Provide outreach materials to industry associations and rental distributors
Collaborate with state plans (states not following the federal OSHA guidelines are expected to develop a plan that is at least as effective as the NEP)
Collaborate with OSHA On-site Consultation programs, which allows small and medium sized businesses the ability to have a no-cost and confidential safety and health services consultation on their jobsites. These consolation services are separate from enforcement and will not result in penalties or citations. If you’re interested in this service, you can call 1-800-321-OSHA or go to www.osha.gov/consultation.
You can view the full National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation Safety by clicking here