June 2021 has been declared “Trench Safety Month” by the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), further highlighting its innovative educational and safety program, the annual “Trench Safety Stand Down” week to be held between June 14-18.
For the past five years in June, NUCA has held the innovative Trench Safety Stand Down (TSSD) Week for the utility construction industry. This year’s event will again occur at hundreds of jobsites across the nation, reaching tens of thousands of workers.
TSSD Week is a series of organized events held by NUCA and industry professionals – both member and non-member organizations – to emphasize the message of safety around jobsite trenches and excavations. TSSD Week is used by industry safety professionals to hold safety training, educational seminars, live demonstrations of trench rescues, and the other activities to reinforce the message of trench safety.
Due to the enthusiastic success of NUCA’s trench safety program and 2020’s first-ever Trench Safety Month, NUCA has once again declared June to be “Trench Safety Month.” The association is devoting the entire month of June to getting the message out to the public and non-NUCA industry companies about the importance of employee safety when working underground or in and around trenches.
In an effort to grow this strong message of safety, the national association will be leveraging the safety messages of TSSD through NUCA’s social media channels, internal publications, and the construction trade press to emphasize several key safety ideas well known through our TSSD materials.
Selecting June as Trench Safety Month is a natural tie-in to the lessons and demonstrations being completed at thousands of NUCA member jobsites during TSSD Week. In 2020, more than 32,000 industry employees and first responders at over 3,500 jobsites, from 328 organizations, took part in the stand down. Our industry’s employees learned the importance of being safe around jobsite excavations and trenches from peers and experts alike.
NUCA and the utility construction industry members seek out every measure possible to reduce risks on our jobsites, which we all know can be a dangerous place to work if someone is unaware of its hazards. 21 industry employees lost their lives through trench accidents in 2019 and 2020, according to OSHA. Trench-collapse deaths among construction workers unfortunately appear to be rising slightly since 2018, when there were 17 fatalities. Participation in Trench Safety Month and TSSD are even more critical this year, as our economy begins to rapidly recover from the pandemic.
Time and time again, evidence shows that the key to significantly reducing the risks associated with our industry is employee training and reinforcement through safety education events such as NUCA’s Trench Safety Month and TSSD Week.
The social media hashtag is #TrenchSafetyMonth.NUCA, Trench Safety