Special Topics in Safety Management

OSHA and North Dakota Employers Form Alliance to Address Trenching Hazards

OSHA and several safety stakeholder organizations recently signed an alliance with North Dakota employers and employees to reduce exposure to trenching and excavation-related hazards.

Excavation and trenching

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Alliance members include Workforce Safety and Insurance, North Dakota Safety Council, Associated Builders and Contractors of North Dakota, Associated General Contractors of North Dakota, Bakken Basin Consortium, Energy Coalition for Contractor Safety, North Dakota One Call, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the MONDAKS Safety Network, and OSHA.

In 2017, excavation safety requirements and employers’ responsibilities during trenching operations were among the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA violations in North Dakota. Alliance partners will train inspectors and auditors to identify trench hazards; provide outreach activities and presentations on trenching and excavating; and assist with developing training materials, hazard warnings, and safety alerts.

“Working together to improve worker safety in the trenching and excavation industry can make a real difference, and help to ensure workers go home safe every day,” said Eric Brooks, OSHA Bismarck Area Office Director.

OSHA’s Alliance Program connects the agency with groups committed to worker safety and health in an effort to reduce workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Groups include unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, businesses, faith- and community-based organizations, and educational institutions. Alliance members work together to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.