The Department of Public Safety ("Department") and the Division of Occupational Safety ("DOS") are pleased to announce the completion of new draft regulations pertaining to Excavation and Trench Safety. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 82A, §1, the Department and DOS drafted the new regulations with the goals of minimizing the danger to the general public at trench and excavation sites and providing for penalties for those individuals who violate the regulatory provisions.

The regulations incorporate several provisions related to permitting and securing trenches that will directly impact the manner in which excavation sites operate and include the following:

  • Parties performing excavations are required to secure and post a permit in plain view of the excavation site;
  • All permits include specific information mandated by MGL c. 82A;
  • Unattended trenches must be secured by the permit holder;
  • Specific requirements for the types of covers and barriers that must be used to secure the trench.

The draft regulations will allow for the immediate shutdown of a worksite in the event of a fatality, serious injury, the failure to use an effective protective system, or other conditions that pose a serious threat to life, limb, or property and allow for sanctions, including suspension or revocation of permits, in the event that the permit holder is found to have violated the regulations.

A public hearing on the proposed Excavation and Trench Safety regulations will be held on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. at the McCormack State Office Building, One Ashburton Place, on the 21 st Floor in Conference Room 1. All persons wishing to comment on the proposed regulations are invited to testify at that time. Written comments may also be submitted to:

Beth D. McLaughlin, Chief of Staff/General Counsel
Department of Public Safety
One Ashburton Place Room 1301
Boston, MA 02108

View the draft regulations: Proposed Trench Regs rtf format of    inf_draft_regs_public_hearing_jun07_26.rtf

Proposed Trench Regs pdf format of    inf_draft_regs_public_hearing_jun07_26.pdf