Trench Safety Stand Down


NAHB Supports the Trench Safety Stand Down

OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation remains a high agency priority. NAHB has teamed up with OSHA and the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) for the annual Trench Safety Stand Down to educate contractors and workers on trenching hazards.

What is a Safety Stand-Down?

A safety stand-down gives employers the opportunity to talk directly to employees and others about safety. Stand downs the week of June should focus on trench and excavation hazards and reinforce the importance of using trench protective systems and protecting workers from trenching hazards.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who wants to prevent trenching and excavation hazards in the workplace can participate in the stand-down. We encourage utility construction, residential contractors, highway construction, plumbers, associations, insurance carriers, educational institutes and safety equipment manufacturers to participate.

Stand-Down Goals

The goal is to reach out to the many workers who work in and around trenches and excavations to provide them with information about current excavation requirements and safety procedures for working in trenches. By reaching as many workers as possible we can reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries that occur each year in our industry, and make others, such as municipal and industry workers who are also exposed, aware of these serious hazards.

Three Steps to Hold Your Own Stand-Down:

  1. Plan ahead. Always schedule the stand-down ahead of time to maximize worker turnout. Jobsites follow strict schedules with tight deadlines, so it is important to schedule at a time convenient for all workers. TIP: Provide lunch as an incentive for participation.
  2. Cover the basics. Choose a topic to use as the focus of the stand-down. Tailor the topic to the current jobsite priorities, such as scaffolding, ladder or roofing safety. TIP: Use the free NUCA Trench Safety Toolbox Talk or the NAHB Trenching and Excavation Video Toolbox Talk.
  3. Hold your stand-down. Present the information to the workers, keeping it short and simple. Use visual aids or conduct hands-on demonstrations, such as how to put on a harness or inspect a ladder/scaffold. TIP: Document attendance at the stand-down with the Safety Stand-Down Sign-In Sheet.

Additional Resources

Share Your Story

Post pictures and recaps on social media after the stand down using the hashtags #TrenchSafetyMonth and/or #Safety365 and tag @NAHBhome, @NUCA_National, and @OSHA_DoL to show your support for Trench Safety Stand Down.