The following are a list of OSHA interpretations on “excavations” topics sourced from the official www.www.osha.gov website:

2009 – 10/13/2009 – Protective system requirements for excavations that will not be entered by employees.

2009 – 12/28/2009 – Exposure to radon when working in trenches or excavations.

2008 – 07/10/2008 – Refresher training requirements for Class III asbestos work and training for excavations disturbing soil with ACM.

1975 – 11/18/1975 – Clarification of excavations, trenching, and shoring standards.
November 18, 1975 Mr. William F. Driskill Assistant Executive Director The Associated General Contractors of America, Incorporated 1330 Mercantile Bank Building Dallas, Texas 75201 Dear Mr. Driskill:…

1991 – 12/02/1991 – Standards addressing excavations
December 2, 1991 Mr. Dennis E. Palmer, P.E. Vice President Barr Engineering Company 7803 Glenroy Road Minneapolis, Minnesota 55439-3123 Dear Mr. Palmer: This is in response to your letter requesting…

1992 – 03/10/1992 – Classification of soils for providing protective systems in excavations.
March 10, 1992 Mr. Mark Monson Manager of Projects Chicagoland Construction Safety Council 4415 W. Harrison St., Suite 403 Hillside, Illinois 60162 Dear Mr. Monson: This is in response to your letter…

1992 – 03/23/1992 – Construction standards addressing excavations.
March 23, 1992 Mr. George Kennedy, C.S.P. Director of Safety National Utility Contractors Association 137 Ruhle Road Ballston Spa, New York 12020 Dear Mr. Kennedy: This is in response to your Septemb…

1992 – 04/15/1992 – Use of plywood for shoring and support systems in trenches and excavations.
April 15, 1992 Mr. Fulton Desler Associate Engineer Technical Services Division American Plywood Association 7011 S. 19th Street P.O. Box 11700 Tacoma, Washington 98411-0700 Dear Mr. Desler: Your let…

1992 – 08/05/1992 – Competent person responsibilities at excavations.
August 5, 1992 Kenneth G. Fellers Manager, QA & Productivity Johnson Controls World Services, Inc. 381 Eniwetok Drive, MS-JQAP Los Alamos, NM 87544 Dear Mr. Fellers: This is in response to your June…

1995 – 06/30/1995 – Suspension of 29 CFR 1926.652 to House Foundation/Basement Excavations.
June 30, 1995 MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS FROM: JAMES W. STANLEY, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY SUBJECT: Suspension of 29 CFR 1926.652 to House Foundation/Basement Excavations Action. Effect…

1995 – 08/10/1995 – Fall protection requirements where employees are required or permitted to cross over excavations.
August 10, 1995 George S. Kennedy, CSP Director of Safety National Utility Contractors Association 4301 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 360 Arlington, Virginia 22203-1627 Dear Mr. Kennedy: This is in respons…

1995 – 09/07/1995 – Concerns with the OSHA June 30 memorandum concerning the application of 29 CFR 1926.652 to house foundation/basement excavations.
September 7, 1995 Dr. Jack L. Mickle, Ph.D. Civil and Construction Engineering Department Iowa State University Ames, Iowa 50011 Dear Dr. Mickle: Thank you for your letter of July 10, in which you ex…

1996 – 01/24/1996 – The requirements for fall protection around residential basement foundation excavations deeper than six feet.
January 22, 1996 Regina CB Solomon Director National Association of Home Builders 1201 15th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20005-2800 Dear Ms. Solomon: This is in response to your telefax of November…

1999 – 10/15/1999 – Excavations may be shored with wooden shoring.
October 15, 1999 The Honorable Ron Kind U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Congressman Kind: Thank you for your letter dated September 10 on behalf of Mr. William Crogan, regar…

2001 – 09/21/2001 – Clarification of utility “owner” as used in the Safety and Health Standards for Excavations, Underground Installations.
September 21, 2001 Mr. Frank C. DeFelice, Jr. 32 Cherry Lane Durham, Connecticut 06422 Re: §1926.651(b)(2); utility owners Dear Mr. DeFelice: This responds to your March 1, 2001 letter to the Oc…

2004 – 05/11/2004 – Evaluation of the use of aluminum forms as an exit route from trench excavations.
May 11, 2004 Charles O. Engelken Wall-Ties & Forms, Inc. 4000 Bonner Industrial Drive Shawnee, Kansas 66226 Re: Use of aluminum forms as a means of egress [exit route] from trench excavations. De…

2005 – 07/29/2005 – Adjusting work practices to comply with cave-in protection requirements in §1926.652, Requirements for protective systems in excavations.
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additiona…

1992 – 06/15/1992 – Soil testing for excavations and confined spaces.
June 15, 1992 Mr. George S. Kennedy Director of Safety National Utility Contractors Association 137 Ruhle Road Ballston Spa, New York 12020 Dear Mr. Kennedy: This is in response to your May 5 letters…

2010 – 07/01/2010 – Can a person who qualifies as a “competent” person under one section of support P also qualify as a competent designer of structural ramps under §1926.651(c)(1)(i)?.

2010 – 10/01/2010 – Applicablity of Subpart S to tunnels contructed by auger boring.

2009 – 03/17/2009 – Removing ladders during trenching activities; compliance with 29 CFR 1926.651(c)(2).

2009 – 08/05/2009 – Whether use of high-visibility warning garments by construction workers in highway work zones is required.
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additiona…

1990 – 08/01/1990 – Limitation on Enforcement of Certain Subsections of the Excavation Standard.
August 1, 1990 MEMORANDUM FOR: ALL REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS THROUGH: LEO CAREY, DIRECTOR OFFICE OF FIELD PROGRAMS FROM: PATRICIA K. CLARK DIRECTOR DESIGNATE DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS SUBJECT:…

1991 – 01/09/1991 – Clarification of Standards
January 9, 1991 MEMORANDUM FOR: BYRON R. CHADWICK Regional Administrator, Region VIII ATTENTION: EDWARD J. KASSAK Assistant Regional Administrator, FSO THRU: LEO CAREY, Director Office of Field Opera…

1991 – 10/29/1991 – Stacking trench boxes in trenches.
October 29, 1991 Mr. Paul Berebitski Director, Contractor/Government Relations Indiana Constructors, Inc. 101 West Ohio Street, Suite 750 Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 Dear Mr. Berebitsky: Your Septemb…

1991 – 11/07/1991 – Design and use of trench boxes
November 7, 1991 Mr. Robert Kundel President Kundel Industries, Inc. P.O. Box 4210 Warren, Ohio 44482 Dear Mr. Kundel: This is in response to your inquiries concerning the Occupational Safety and Hea…

1991 – 11/19/1991 – Requirement for Air Sampling in trenches.
November 19, 1991 Mr. George Kennedy, C.S.P. Director of Safety National Utility Contractors Association 1235 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 606 Arlington, Virginia 22202-3283 Dear Mr. Kennedy: This…

1992 – 04/15/1992 – Rules addressing competent persons and qualified persons.
April 15, 1992 Mr. Don Bollinger Kilborn Management Services, Inc. P.O. Box 832 Elko, Nevada 89801-0832 Dear Mr. Bollinger: Your March 5 letter to Mr. James Foster, Director of the Office of Informat…

1992 – 10/27/1992 – Requirements for MTD to identify registered professional engineers.
October 27, 1992 Mr. Bob Richards Project Engineer Duff-Norton Company, Inc. P.O. Box 7010 Charlotte, NC 28241-7010 Dear Mr. Richards: This is in response to your September 24 letter requesting the O…

1993 – 02/19/1993 – Plywood as a substitute for meeting the standard.
February 19, 1993 Mr. George S. Kennedy Director of Safety National Utility Contractors Association 137 Ruhle Road Ballston Spa, New York 12020 Dear Mr. Kennedy: This is in response to your January 5…

1993 – 10/28/1993 – The soil classification system.
October 28, 1993 Ms. Janet Fox Director, Industrial Hygiene and Safety Services Con Edison, Inc. 30 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11217 Dear Ms. Fox: Your letter of July 16 to Mr. Roger Clark re…

1994 – 01/10/1994 – Soil classification.
January 10, 1994 Mr. Norton S. Beckerman President Utilities Products, Inc. Three Skyline Place, Suite 1604 5201 Leesburg Pike Falls Church, VA 22041 Dear Mr. Beckerman: This is in response to your J…

1994 – 03/28/1994 – Safety Procedures During Gunite and Shotcrete Pool Construction.
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additiona…

1994 – 07/26/1994 – OSHA Policy Regarding Voluntary Rescue Activities.
July 26, 1994 MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS FROM: JAMES W. STANLEYDEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY SUBJECT: OSHA Policy Regarding Voluntarily Rescue Activities The purpose of this memorandum is t…

1995 – 02/07/1995 – Hoisting personnel into and out of drilled shafts with a drill rig.
February 7, 1995 Mr. John R. Roma, P.E. Vice President New England Foundation Co. Inc. 37 Lowell Junction Road Andover, MA 01810-5905 Dear Mr. Roma: This is in response to your December 14, 1994, let…

1995 – 04/05/1995 – Whether or not organic rock, such as “Miami oolite rock” should be considered by OSHA as “stable rock”.
April 5, 1995 The Honorable Lincoln Diaz-Balart U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515-0921 Dear Congressman Diaz-Balart: Thank you for your letter of February 24 concerning whether or…

1995 – 05/10/1995 – OSHA standards addressing reverse signal alarms on excavators.
May 10, 1995 Mr. John Longo Corporate Health and Safety Manager CH2M Hill 625 Herndon Parkway Herndon, Virginia 22070-5416 Dear Mr. Longo: This is in response to your October 6, letter requesting an…

1995 – 09/21/1995 – Use of explosion proof certified equipment inside of pipes and manholes.
September 21, 1995 The Honorable Bill McCollum 605 East Robinson Street, Suite 650 Orlando, Florida 32801 Dear Congressman McCollum: We have received Mr. Bennett’s letter dated July 24, 1995, reg…

1996 – 02/01/1996 – Clarification of house foundation/basement excavation;Fall protection requirements.
February, 1 1996 Mr. Christopher Seniuk, MPA, CSP, CIH Assistant vice President Director of Safety and Health Services Lovell Safety Management Co., Inc. 161 William Street New York, N.Y. 10038-2675…

1997 – 05/29/1997 – Mushroom Style Plastic Rebar Covers Used For Impalement Protection.
May 29, 1997 MEMORANDUM FOR: CONSTRUCTION COORDINATORS FROM: RUSSELL B. SWANSON, DIRECTOR Directorate of Construction SUBJECT: Rebar Caps The January 15, 1997, memo addressing the small mushroom styl…

1998 – 05/28/1998 – Numerous clarifications regarding underground construction;variances; joint ventures.
May 28, 1998 Lawrence J. Keefe Chairman, Tunnel Task Force Underground Contractors Association 3158 River Road, Suite 135 Des Plaines, Illinois 60018 Dear Mr. Keefe: We are in receipt of former Under…

1999 – 10/20/1999 – Trench shields must be installed to prevent lateral movement in a collapse.
October 20, 1999 Mr. John Randall Water Utility Safety Coordinator Water Pollution Control Facilities 7525 Bertram Road SE Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403-7111 Re: 1926.652(g)(1)(ii); trench boxes/shield sy…

2000 – 08/10/2000 – Trench shield must extend 18″ above excavation walls when below grade.
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additiona…

2000 – 10/17/2000 – Requirements to prevent trench collapse during sheet-pile operations.
October 17, 2000 Mr. Charles Walling Hawkins Construction Company P.O. Box 9008, Station C Omaha, NE 68109 RE: 1926.603(c)(3), 1926.650, 1926.651(g), 1926.651(j)(1), (j)(2), 1926.652, 1926.652(b)(1)(…

2000 – 11/03/2000 – Application of the Confined Spaces Advisor to construction; personal fall arrest system requirements.
November 3, 2000 Mr. Thomas Lee Dahl NPSW Venture 5555 South Hadden Road Mazon, Il 60444 Re: 1910.146, 1926.21(b)(6)(i), 1926.353(b)(1) & (b)(2), 1926.502(d), 1926.502(d)(3) and (4), 1926.502(d)(…

2001 – 05/03/2001 – Application of 1926.800 to lone employees working underground in a tunnel or shaft connected to a tunnel.
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additiona…

2002 – 06/24/2002 – Clarification concerning fall protection and vertical walled trenches with depth of 6 feet or greater and use of controlled access zones.
June 24, 2002 Ned McDougald 4170 W. Menlo Fresno, CA 93722 Dear Mr. McDougald: This is in response to your letter of April 22, 2002, requesting an interpretation of fall protection requirements when…

2002 – 08/08/2002 – Request for an interpretation regarding the applicability of 1926.800 to the Fort Point Channel Crossing Immersed Tube. Tunnel.
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additiona…

2003 – 01/16/2003 – Necessary precautions required to prevent entry into a swinging superstructure’s radius.
January 16, 2003 Walter H. West Safety & Health Systems, Inc. 462 Kingsley Avenue, Suite 201 Orange Park, FL 32073 Re: Whether the swing radius of an excavator has to be barricaded. Dear Mr. West…

2003 – 01/16/2003 – Registered professional engineer approval requirements for manufactured trench protection systems deeper than 20 feet.
January 16, 2003 John M. Maas 2304 Bel-Aire Court Green Bay, WI 53404-5017 Re: Whether an excavation contractor is required to get the approval of a registered professional engineer when using a manu…

2003 – 10/23/2003 – Use of hydro-vacuum excavation equipment and other acceptable means to locate underground utility installions.
October 23, 2003 Mr. Joseph Caldwell Consultant Governmental Liaison Pipeline Safety Regulations 211 Wilson Boulevard Suite 700 Arlington, Virginia 22201 Re: Use of hydro-vacuum or non-conductive han…

2003 – 12/22/2003 – Registered professional engineer approval requirements for combination trench shield and sloping system trenches with a depth greater than 20 feet.
December 22, 2003 Mr. David V. Dow Trench Safety and Supply, Inc. 3000 Ferrell Park Cove Memphis, TN 38116 Re: Whether a sloping system used in conjunction with trench shields in an excavation that e…

2004 – 02/09/2004 – Fall protection requirements for work docks/bridges used during bridge construction.
February 9, 2004 Mr. Jack Swarthout Scott Bridge Company Inc. PO Box 2000 Opelika, Alabama 36803 Re: Work docks and work bridges; scaffolds; fall protection; working over water Dear Mr. Swarthout: Th…

2004 – 05/11/2004 – Requirements for use of high-visibility warning garments by construction workers in highway work zones.
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additiona…

2004 – 09/30/2004 – Permissibility of using average excavation depth to determine protective system requirements for the excavation.
September 30, 2004 Mr. Richard Johnston Director of Loss Hausmann Johnson Insurance 700 Regent Street P.O. Box 259408 Madison, WI 53725-9408 Re: 29 CFR 1926.652(a)(1)(ii); whether averaging excavatio…

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