Mudge Porter Lundeen & Seguin, S.C.
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Protecting yourself around a trench on a construction site

It is common to find a trench on a construction site in Wisconsin. Trenches are used for various projects and should be monitored for safety and any hazards at all times. If you need to work in or around a trench on a Saint Croix construction site, it's important you know how to protect yourself, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The following are some vital safety measures that must be taken when working on a construction site with a trench:

  • Never work in a trench while under a raised load
  • Keep all heavy machinery away from the edges of the trench
  • Always test for fumes, low oxygen and toxic gases
  • Keep all surcharge loads no less than two feet from the edge of the trench
  • Inspect the trench after it rains
  • Inspect the trench prior to the start of every shift
  • Have a map of underground utilities

The trench in which you are working must have adequate access and egress at all times. This includes the use of ladders, scaffolding, ramps, steps or other means available for employees to safely exit the trench. These exit materials must be provided in any trench that is 4 feet or deeper and they must be within 25 feet of workers.

Trenching safety is something that should be taken seriously when on a construction site. If you notice hazards or safety violations, it is imperative you report them to your employer immediately. You also have the option of filing a complaint with OSHA if your employer fails to make the trench safe for work.

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Mudge Porter Lundeen & Seguin, S.C.
110 Second Street
Post Office Box 469
Hudson, WI 54016

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