“Our regulatory review found that the 1989 excavations standard has reduced deaths from approximately 90 per year to 70 per year," OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. said. "In addition, overall construction industry activity when adjusted for inflation has increased 20 percent.
"As a result, the OSHA standard will remain in effect, although we will be looking to issue some improved guidance and training materials to help employers keep their employees safe.”
In 1989, OSHA issued a final, revised excavations standard to reduce deaths and injuries from excavation and trenching activities in the construction industry. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 directs OSHA to review and evaluate the effectiveness of its standards and the impact those standards have had on lowering injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace.
The agency undertook the Regulatory Flexibility Act review of the excavations standard to determine whether the rule should be continued without change or should be amended or revoked.
Copies of the entire report may be obtained from OSHA’s Office of Publications, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3101, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. The telephone number is (202) 693-1888.
The full report, comments and referenced documents are available for review at the OSHA Docket Office, new Docket No. 2007-0012, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. The phone number is (202) 693-2350.