Trenching: Competent Person

Course Description:

This session is intended for the “competent person” at trench excavation sites—that is, a person who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards and working conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees in and around excavations and who is authorized to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate the hazards.

Course Duration: 42 minutes

Why “Trenching: Competent Person” Matters:

  • More than 30 workers die in trench-related accidents every year in the United States, and almost 1,000 workers are injured to the point where the worker loses days away from work. Seventy-five percent of fatalities at excavation sites were the result of cave-ins.
  • The following hazards cause the most trenching and excavation injuries:
    • No protective system;
    • Failure to inspect trench and protective system;
    • Unsafe spoil-pile placement; and
    • Unsafe trench or excavation entry and exit.

Key Points:

  • Be aware of all the hazards associated with working around trenches.
  • Cave-ins occur suddenly and can entrap, bury, or injure.
  • Always use protection systems.

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