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New Legislation Requires an Excavation License and Excavation Permit for Anyone Digging 5 Feet Below Grade

ALL contractors and subcontractors (concrete contractors, landscape contractors, excavators, etc.) should review the new regulations, along with site safety managers.

Effective January 1, 2023, Bill Nos. 210389 and 220008 increase protections during construction and require special licensing for excavation exceeding 5 feet below adjacent grade (excluding utility trenches and exploratory investigation) under an excavation permit issued on or after January 1, 2023. A licensed excavation contractor must be identified to obtain an excavation permit.

The new license requires the identification of at least one site safety manager that has completed the OSHA 3015 Excavation, Trenching, and Soil Mechanics Course or an approved alternate. The Excavation Contractor License is now available in eCLIPSE. Click here to view the complete license requirements.


L&I is concerned that so few members have applied for the license and that projects will be delayed as a result. Please note that the excavation permit is a sub-permit to the building permit. The building permit may be issued before the excavation permit, but the excavation permit will not be issued without the excavation contractor. Further, L&I will not issue the building permit until the excavation permit documents are approved, but the permit may still sit in ready-to-issue until an excavation contractor is named. It is therefore very important that members get the required training as soon as possible.

Only an OSHA Training Institute Education Center can provide the OSHA 3015 training or an alternative program approved by L&I. Currently, the only local opportunity to take the required course in person is at capacity, but members may call the MidAtlantic OSHA Training Institute Education Center at 1-800-875-4770 to arrange a private session for your company or organization. An online course is also available through Texas A&M. L&I is requesting that additional courses be added locally and is still accepting applications for alternative programs. The department will post authorized training programs as they are approved.


On Wednesday, November 9, 2022, L&I presented an "Excavation Permit and Protection of Adjacent Property" webinar.

The topics covered during the information session included: new excavation contractor license and excavation permit; pre-construction survey and monitoring requirements; new special inspector license categories; required notification to an adjacent property owner; building and site restoration after demolition.

Review the presentation slides.

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