WHEREAS, trenching and excavation work are hazardous construction operations performed by many Virginians everyday; and
WHEREAS, construction employers and employees who work in trenching and excavation need continuous access to education and training in identifying hazards associated with these activities; and
WHEREAS, trench collapse deaths are easily preventable with proper shielding, shoring, sloping, and training; and
WHEREAS, despite increased training and hazard identification, recent national statistics on trench injuries and deaths show an alarming increase, and in 2016, the United States Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that trench injuries and deaths were nearly double the average of the previous five years; and
WHEREAS, the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), a Virginia-based National Construction Trade Association representing underground utility and excavating contractors, have created an annual week to focus on education and training in trenching and excavating hazard awareness known as the "Trench Safety Stand Down" that is approved by OSHA and sponsored by the North American Excavation and Shoring Association;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 18-23, 2018, as TRENCH SAFETY STAND DOWN WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.