Department of Labor Logo OSHA News Release - Region 5

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

April 2, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Partners with Industry at Chicago Area
Trench Safety Conferences to Raise Awareness of Hazards

CHICAGO, IL – To raise awareness about the hazards in the trenching and excavation industry, including potentially deadly trench collapses, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is joining with industry leaders, union leaders, and safety professionals for three Trench Safety Conferences, April 9-11, 2019, in the Chicago area.

The goal is to increase awareness of trenching hazards in construction, educate employers, and employees on safe cave-in prevention solutions, and decrease the number of trench collapses. Every year, more than 50 workers suffer fatal injuries in trench-related activities, and thousands more are injured in improperly shored or unstable trenches. The Trench Safety Conferences will feature presentations on soil mechanics, shoring equipment, trench safety regulations, and trench rescue and recovery.

“The Trench Safety Conferences will not only include demonstrations, but also a presentation from a trench collapse survivor,” said OSHA Naperville Area Director Jake Scott. “OSHA and industry partners will work together to help prevent trench-related injuries, and ensure that workers are properly trained, and required protections are in place.”

Trench Safety Conferences
People's Energy Training Center
4228 W. 35th Place
Chicago, IL
April 9, 2019
7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CDT


Apprenticeship and Skill Improvement Program Local 150
19800 W. Arsenal Road
Wilmington, IL
April 10, 2019
7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CDT


Northern Illinois University Hoffman Estates Campus
5555 Trillium Blvd.
Hoffman Estates, IL
April 11, 2019
7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CDT

Speakers will make presentations from 8:00 a.m. to noon. A continental breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m.

The events are free, but pre-registration is required. Register online at, or call Candra Jefferson at (630) 300-7103.

OSHA recently updated its National Emphasis Program on preventing trenching and excavation collapses, and developed a series of compliance assistance resources to help keep workers safe from these hazards.

The Agency’s trenching and excavation webpage provides additional information on trenching hazards and solutions. The site includes a trenching operations QuickCard that provides information on protecting workers around trenches, and OSHA’s “Protect Workers in Trenches” poster that provides a quick reminder of the three ways to prevent dangerous trench collapses. The poster is available in English and Spanish.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit

# # #

Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-4727,
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-6976,

Release Number: 19-478-CHI

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The Department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the Department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).