To help workers and employers understand safe trenching practices and federal requirements for construction excavation safety, OSHA has issued a new safety information pocket card. The “Safety in Excavations or Trenches” cards are printed in English on one side and Spanish on the other.

Offering practical advice, the pocket-sized card explains that excavations or trenches five feet deep or greater require a protective system. The card also highlights the OSHA requirements that excavation or trench walls must meet.

The cards can be downloaded from OSHA's Web site on the publications page or can be ordered by calling OSHA's publications office at (202) 693-1888.

Additionally, OSHA recently revised construction excavation standards to make them easier to understand, to permit the use of performance criteria where possible, and to provide construction employers with options when classifying soil and selecting employee protection methods.