Labor and Economic Opportunity
Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-335-LARA (5272)
April 2, 2019 – The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is working to eliminate excavation and trench accidents by launching an extensive educational and enforcement campaign to raise awareness on the issue.
“The statewide emphasis program will reach employers and employees who work in and around excavations and trenches,” said Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Orlene Hawks. “Our campaign will focus on current excavation and trench requirements, the dangers of working in these operations, and safety procedures to avoid pitfalls.”
Excavation protection is essential, since the sides of a trench can collapse with great force and without warning, burying workers beneath tons of soil before they have a chance to react or escape.
Since 2013, seven Michigan workers have died from trench collapse accidents or cave-ins. MIOSHA’s campaign will consist of both increased education and enforcement presence at excavation and trench sites.
MIOSHA has compiled comprehensive training and compliance assistance materials and resources on its website. Additionally, to further educate employers and employees on the danger of excavation and trenches, MIOSHA’s Training Institute (MTI) will be offering its full day construction seminar titled, “Excavations: The Grave Danger,” at several locations throughout the state.
"Construction employers are encouraged to reach out to us for resources and services to help eliminate excavation and trench accidents,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. “Collaboration with employers is essential for MIOSHA to protect the safety and health of Michigan workers.”
Employers are encouraged to contact the Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division at 517-284-7720 for seminar dates, locations, partnering opportunities, and available resources. For more information about MIOSHA standards and excavation and trenching hazards, you may contact the Construction Safety and Health Division (CSHD) at 517-284-7680.