June 2022 Is “Trench Safety Month”

June 2022 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 this year June 20-24.

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For the past six years in June, NUCA has held the innovative Trench Safety Stand Down (TSSD) Week for the utility construction industry. This year’s event, sponsored by NUCA National Partner United Rentals, will occur at hundreds of jobsites across the nation, reaching tens of thousands of our member’s valuable employees.

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 last year’s Trench Safety Month, NUCA 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 2021, more than 22,000 industry employees and first responders at over 2,200 jobsites, from 340 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. Participation in Trench Safety Month and TSSD are even more critical this year, as our industry begins gearing up for more water, wastewater, broadband, electric, and highway projects financed by the massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill supported by NUCA. Our industry is seeking tens of thousands of new employees to work on these projects, and every one of them will need safety training.

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 events such as the TSSD Week.

This annual June event is expected to evolve over the following years as the TSSD continues to grow. For 2022, remember to check out NUCA’s social media channels on Twitter (@NUCA_National), Facebook (NUCA1964), LinkedIn (NUCA National), Instagram (NUCA_National), and our active YouTube channel (NUCA National).

The social media hashtag is #TrenchSafetyMonth.

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