Trenches Laws and Regulations

Thank you for visiting the Trench Safety Regulations website.

Inquiries relative to a municipality's local permitting authority should be directed to the specific municipality. For additional information about the Trench Safety Regulations please visit the links below.

The regulations provide that local permitting authorities, the Department of Public Safety, or the Division of Occupational Safety may order an immediate shutdown of a trench in the event of a death or serious injury; the failure to obtain a permit; or the failure to implement or effectively use adequate protections for the general public. The trench shall remain shutdown until reinspected and authorized to reopen provided, however, that excavators shall have the right to appeal an immediate shutdown. Permitting authorities are further authorized to suspend or revoke a permit following a hearing. Excavators may also be subject to administrative fines issued by the Department of Public Safety for identified violations.

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