State to educate workers on avoiding deadly trench accidents

Posted at 4:13 PM, Apr 06, 2019

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching an educational and enforcement campaign to reduce excavation and trench accidents.

State Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Orlene Hawks says the focus will be on current requirements, the dangers of working in those operations and safety procedures.

Hawks says the program will reach employers and employees who work in and around excavations and trenches.

Sides of trenches can collapse with great force and without warning, burying workers beneath tons of soil before they have a chance to react or escape. The state says seven workers in Michigan have died from trench collapse accidents or cave-ins since 2013.

MIOSHA has training and compliance assistance materials and resources on its website .