Monday, June 15, marked the beginning of Trench Safety Stand Down (TSSD) Week held by the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA). This innovative educational opportunity teaches thousands of construction industry employees the simple message of “be safe around trenches.”
“Since 2016, NUCA’s Trench Safety Stand Down has been an integral part of our industry’s comprehensive safety program,” said Doug Carlson, NUCA CEO. “With the full support of OSHA, our mission to reduce injuries and fatalities in the trenches through the training of our excavation workforce has seen a remarkable reach across the industry. Participation in 2019 doubled over the previous year.”
In 2019, more than 47,000 industry employees and first responders at over 4,500 jobsites, from 324 organizations, took part in the stand down. Together, they learned the importance of being safe around jobsite excavations and trenches from peers and experts alike.
For the past four years in June, NUCA has helped sponsor the innovative Trench Safety Stand Down Week for the utility construction industry. It has expanded to other construction industries and non-members who note the benefit of additional formal safety training for their employees. This year’s event will occur at hundreds of jobsites across the nation, reaching tens of thousands of industry 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 other activities to reinforce the important message of trench safety.
Due to the enthusiastic success of NUCA’s TSSD Week and our trench safety program, NUCA decided to make June 2020 the first “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.
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. Our safety message is working, reducing the 2016 trench related facility rate of 33 to 14 in 2019, according to OSHA safety data.
“While the industry fatal accident rate has been more than halved since 2016, we feel strongly that there is more we all can do as an industry to prevent the needless loss of life. The mission to save lives and prevent accidents remains the vital reason why this annual stand down is so important,” concluded Carlson.
For more information about TSSD 2020 and how to participate, please visit www.nuca.com/tssd. Remember to also check out NUCA’s social media channels on Twitter (@NUCA_National), Facebook (NUCA1964), LinkedIn (NUCA National), Instagram (NUCA_National), and our revamped YouTube channel (NUCA National).
The social media hashtag for the week is #TSSD20.