Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the announcement from the DOL that OSHA will be launching enhanced enforcement initiatives to protect workers from known industry hazards in trenching and excavation work.
The announcement comes after 22 workers have fallen victim to the deadly hazards in the first half of 2022, compared with 15 in all of 2021. In keeping with its National Emphasis Program for excavations, OSHA compliance officers will perform more than 1,000 trench inspections nationwide where they may stop by, and inspect, any excavation site during their daily duties. The new actions will place additional emphasis on how agency officials evaluate penalties for trenching and excavation related incidents, including criminal referrals for federal or state prosecution. OSHA also noted several proactive measures, including safety summits and its free consultation program for SMBs that will assist employers in developing strategic approaches for addressing trench-related illnesses and injuries in workplaces.