Safe Excavation Alliance Unites Several Organizations to Protect Utility Construction Employees

Safe Excavation Alliance Unites Several Organizations to Protect Utility Construction Employees

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The National Utility Contractors Association signed an important agreement last month with several stakeholder organizations to better protect industry employees who perform trenching and excavation work.

“NUCA’s partnership with the OSHA National Trenching and Excavation Alliance is just another example of how NUCA is making safety a priority in the industry,” says Mike Flowers, NUCA director of safety, training and education. “Whether it’s providing training opportunities, educational resources or taking leadership positions on industry safety committees and task forces, NUCA is always striving to help make the industry safer for the front line, in the trenches, for all of our members’ employees.”

The alliance seeks to help small- and medium-sized construction businesses protect their employees from hazards related to trenching, excavation and shoring. This training initiative focuses on the four leading construction industry hazards: falls, caught-in or caught-between, struck-by-objects, and electrocution. Information will also be shared on how to reduce employee exposure to hazardous levels of noise and silica.

"Sadly in 2022, we saw a dramatic and disturbing increase in the number of workers who died in trench collapses," says U.S. Department of Labor Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. "We know that awareness and vigilance save lives.”

NUCA, OSHA and the other alliance members will partner to develop guidance in several languages to deploy training resources such as safety articles and alerts, job site tours, educational sessions and focused programs on trenching and excavation hazards. Partners will also create podcasts and webinars focused on best practices. NUCA’s long-standing safety and training programs will also complement the initiative’s efforts focused on the utility construction industry.

The two-year agreement signed on June 22 is between OSHA and the Partners for Safe Trenching and Excavation Operations Alliance. The agreement is uniting NUCA, the North American Excavation Shoring Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the Associated General Contractors, the Common Ground Alliance, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Laborers' International Union of North America to address some of the construction industry's most hazardous work.

Through its existing Alliance Program, OSHA works with organizations such as trade and professional associations, labor unions, educational institutions, community and faith-based groups, and government agencies to share information about OSHA's initiatives and compliance assistance resources with workers and employers, along with educating workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.


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