US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
Trade News Release Banner Image


OSHA Trade Release
February 11, 2005
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999


OSHA Offers Pocket Card for Excavation and Trenching

WASHINGTON -- A new OSHA safety information pocket card, Safety in Excavations or Trenches, will help workers and employers understand safe trenching practices and the federal requirements for construction excavation safety. The cards are printed in English on one side and Spanish on the other.

The cards can be downloaded from OSHA's web site on the publications page or can be ordered by calling OSHA's publications office at (202) 693-1888.

"This new card provides practical, yet critically important, information that can help save lives," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare. "We know that construction excavation can be dangerous work and that's why it important that we make every effort to provide these workers the tools they need to stay safe on the job."

The new pocket-sized card explains that excavations or trenches five feet deep or greater require a protective system. It also highlights OSHA's requirements that excavation or trench walls must meet at least one of the following criteria:
  • Sloped for stability
  • Cut to create stepped or benched grades
  • Supported by a system made with posts, beams, shores or planking and hydraulic jacks
  • Supported by a trench box
  • An exit ladder must be within 25 feet of workers
Excavating is recognized as one of the most hazardous construction operations. OSHA recently revised construction excavation standards to make them easier to understand, permit the use of performance criteria where possible, and provide construction employers with options when classifying soil and selecting employee protection methods.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


# # #


U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close