Trenching and Excavation Policy

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    This policy establishes the minimum requirements for practices and procedures to assure the safety of staff who work in or around excavations as part of their job duties. It also serves to protect University staff, students or visitors who may work or travel in the vicinity of an excavation or trench.


    By authority delegated from the University President, the Vice-President for Business Affairs is responsible for the safety of all University facilities. Under this authority, policies are developed to provide a safe teaching, research, service, housing and recreational environment.

    OSHA 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P
    Governor’s Executive Order 2000-292


    All employees, students, volunteers and contractors working under direct UF supervision shall comply with all elements of the UF Trenching and Excavation Safety Policy.


    Environmental Health and Safety
    EH&S shall develop, maintain, distribute and provide oversight in accordance with all applicable Federal , State and local requirements and with recognized best industry practices. EH&S has the authority to halt unsafe work practices that are not in accordance with this or other established safety policies. EH&S shall provide assistance to other Divisions and Departments in developing appropriate excavation safety plans and in providing technical guidance and training.
    Departments are responsible for maintaining compliance with safety policy and for maintaining a safe work environment for their staff. Each department performing trenching and excavation activities must appoint a competent person to ensure compliance with health and safety requirements. Departments must ensure that the designated competent person has received the required training to fulfill that position. Departments must ensure that any employee required to work in trenches four feet or more in depth has received appropriate safety training.
    Contractors working at the University of Florida are expected to comply with all applicable requirements of the OSHA Construction and General Industry standards. Contractors should have written health and safety programs relevant to the work being conducted. Written health and safety plans must be available for review by EH&S or Project Managers on request.