An recent uptick in trenching and excavation deaths has caused OSHA to address the issue as one of its priority goals.
In October 2018, the agency updated its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on preventing collapses.
“The single most important measure for preventing cave-ins when working in trenches is designating a competent person and making sure that person is adequately trained,” said Joe Wise, regional customer training manager at United Rentals.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)'s set of recommendations details engineering controls, protective equipment and safe work practices employers and safety professionals can implement to minimize trenching hazards for workers.
This infographic from United Rentals explains the basic requirements of trench safety.