On December 4, 2002, the Legislature enacted new legislation relative to excavation and trench safety. The legislation, known as "Jackie's Law" was in response to a tragic accident that occurred in 1999 when a four-year-old girl was killed when a trench she had climbed into collapsed on her. The Department of Labor Standards and the Department of Public Safety, together, are charged with administering Jackie's law, including the promulgation of regulations. Those regulations (visit Trenching Regulations) went into effect on January 1, 2009. Please visit the Department of Public Safety's Trench page or www.mass.gov/dps to learn more about the law and regulations.
DLS reminds those engaged in construction that trenches are recognized as one of the most hazardous construction conditions for workers and the public.
The OSHA Excavation Standard, which applies to private sector contractors, is also the standard in Massachusetts for municipal workers. State agencies and authorities whose employees are engaged in excavation are strongly encouraged to follow this standard as well. To learn more, download DOS' Trench Safety Poster Trench Safety Poster or visit www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html