Stop Preventable Deaths and Focus on Safe Digging During the Trench Safety Stand Down


Today marks the start of the week-long 2020 Trench Safety Stand Down, organized by the National Utility Contractors Association and supported by OSHA. The stand down gives employers, supervisors and foremen the opportunity to speak directly to workers about trench and excavation hazards.

Since 2011, nearly 40% of all trenching fatalities have occurred at residential construction sites. With proper preparation and adherence to safety protocols, the number of trenching accidents and fatalities could — and should — drop to zero.

OSHA has made trench safety improvements an accountable goal for the agency. NAHB has also created a Trenching and Excavation Toolkit to provide home builders with resources and ideas to support these very important conversations.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, all home builders should practice distancing and implement other safe practices during their stand downs. For more information on holding a COVID-safety stand down, see the materials NAHB produced for the COVID-19 Job Site Safety Stand Down conducted in April.

Those who participate in this week’s stand down are encouraged to take pictures of their sessions and post them to social media using the tag #TSSD20. If you have not yet made plans to discuss trench safety this week, please consider using some of the resources below:

For questions about safety programs, visit

Subscribe to NAHBNow

Log in or create account to subscribe to notifications of new posts.

Log in to subscribe