Fourth annual NAXSA Colorado Trench Safety Summit breaks record attendance for second year

(UI) — More than 500 construction and safety professionals converged on the Adams County Fairgrounds near Denver on Oct. 4 with one common goal in mind: learn more about trench safety and help prevent tragedy in the workplace.

“We believe these Trench Safety Summits are making an impact,” NAXSA President Kevin Malloy said. “It is not just NAXSA that is emphasizing excavation safety awareness. We are starting to see local general contractors, safety professionals, municipalities, and smaller contractors wanting their employees to be educated about the dangers of trench work,” Malloy says.

The Summit was a cross-training of indoor presentations and outdoor training stations. Indoor presentations featured OSHA Case Studies presented by Neil Schneider and Jennifer Casey. The outdoor training consisted of rotating demonstration stations, led by industry safety professionals including: 

  • Open Trench/Competent Person Review
  • Hydraulic Shoring
  • Shielding Trenches
  • Sloping and Benching
  • Traffic Control
  • Rigging

Three NAXSA member companies with branch offices in Colorado helped organize and participated in the Trench Safety Summit: National Trench Safety, United Rentals, and Sunbelt Rentals.

“I think you can see the success of this year’s Colorado Trench Safety Summit in the number of participants compared to years past,” said Sunbelt Rentals Regional Sales Manager, Kyle DeLucero, who co-chaired the summit’s Planning Committee. “There is a much deeper focus on the hazards of excavation work, and we are starting to see a lot more people taking it seriously. I think the word is starting to get out,” DeLucero adds.

One of the highlights of the day’s activities was the roundtable discussion led by Trench & Excavation Safety Taskforce (TEST) founder, Perry Silvey. The event’s participants—representing over 100 different companies—discussed trench safety best practices, identified issues with various scenarios, and shared examples of what works and what does not in keeping workers safe in and around a trench.

The day’s event concluded with a live trench rescue demonstration presented by the North Metro and Thornton Fire Departments.

“I don’t know more of an impact than watching an actual live trench rescue,” Christine Barnes, the Executive Director of the NUCA-CO, said. “Once you are sitting out there and time is going by, you begin to realize that a trench rescue operation isn’t a five-minute call to the Fire Department and they arrive and immediately begin to rescue someone.”

NAXSA was created to promote the safe and efficient use of excavation shoring practices. It was formed to represent manufacturers, engineers, rental companies/distributors, universities/educators, associates/suppliers, and government agency representatives who share the common goal of maintaining safety in the excavation shoring industry with the result of zero deaths and injuries.

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