Trenching Rescue & Excavation Plan Rulemaking

This rulemaking project covers rule language found in Chapter 296-155 WAC Safety Standards for Construction Work, Part N Excavation, Trenching, and Shoring.


A preliminary stakeholder meeting was held virtually on May 14, 2021 and the Preproposal (CR-101) was filed on June 22, 2021. Additional stakeholder meetings will be announced in the coming months.

Learn more about our rulemaking process and terminology


Inspection data over the past several years show that excavation and trenching is uniquely hazardous work, and the failure to adequately plan for potential problems can result in catastrophic consequences. Between 2016 and 2020, there were multiple fatalities related to excavation and trenching work in Washington, in addition to numerous reported injuries.

DOSH believes that these fatalities and injuries are overwhelmingly preventable, and that by amending existing rule language to ensure that employers regularly assess the condition of their worksite, formally document hazards and rescue procedures, and communicate with workers on site before work ever begins, we can substantially reduce the likelihood of similar, preventable tragedies from occurring in the future.

Stakeholder Meetings 

  • November 12, 2021 – 10am to 11:30am

Attendees will need to register at this link:

 Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email and calendar item with your personal meeting link or phone number and the password. On the day/time of the meeting, you will need to click on that link or call, enter the appropriate password and then you will be in attendance. (Note: please check spam or junk mail for this confirmation email as it will be coming from Zoom.)

Previous Stakeholder Meetings

Rule Draft & Documents

    Stakeholder Feedback

    Coming Soon!

    Additional Resources