Utility Contractor

MAY-JUN 2018

As the official magazine of NUCA, Utility Contractor presents the latest information affecting every aspect of the utility construction industry, including technological advancements, safety issues, legislative developments and instructional advice.

Issue link: http://digital.utilitycontractoronline.com/i/976710

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Page 5 of 51

6 Utility Contractor | May/June 2018 TAKE THE TIME. KEEP THEM SAFE I am generally not a person who gets on soapbox. But I can't help but think that our industry is failing miserably at protecting our workers from dying in our trenches. If you read George Kennedy's Safety Management column last month, you know what I am talking about. Too many workers are needlessly getting killed, buried alive, in unprotected trenches. And it has to stop. The majority of NUCA contractors have safety as the number one priority. However, as leaders in this industry, it is our responsibility to share and promote safe working methods with all who call themselves "Utility" contractors. That is why NUCA, in partnership with NAXSA and with the full endorsement of OSHA, will hold a Trench Safety Stand Down Week, June 18-23, and I urge every- one reading this to participate. NUCA's VP of Safety George Kennedy recently shared some startling numbers with me. In 2016, 23 workers were killed while working in trenches (double that of '14 and '15 combined). The num- bers were just as bad in 2017, and fatalities this year are already halfway to last year's total — and we are just closing out the first quarter. By anybody's standards, these deaths are unacceptable. It is hard for me to imagine that any utility contractor would put their employees in such danger. But incredibly, there are still employers who choose to risk the lives of their employees to save a buck, or they believe the excavation does not require trench protection, or they hope the short-term operation will go undetected by OSHA. In the last 25 years, NUCA has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars ensuring members are edu- cated and or trained on many safety issues. But protecting workers in the trench (and offering training to ensure that happens) has by far been NUCA's biggest safety focus. I believe the vast majority of contractors, members or not, do their best to protect workers, but the numbers speak for themselves. It is up to us to keep our workers safe and to show non-NUCA members the importance of having well-trained and educated crews on every jobsite, which brings me back to our TSSD. Last year contractors, municipalities, engineering firms, and the military from all over the country participated in TSSD week and educated more than 11,000 workers. A great reach, but this is a very small percent of workers who need this safety message. Hopefully the press will cover this event, and our message will get to a contractor or crew who is lacking in this training and will reach out to us for help. I would like to ask everyone reading this magazine to commit participating. If you are pressed for time, you can hold 20-minute trench safety Toolbox Talk with your crews. Last year, some companies held company-wide training, some showed trench safety videos, some did onsite dem- onstrations. It doesn't matter what you do. Just get the information to your employees so it is always in the front of their minds. You can download lots of materials for your TSSD from the NUCA website, including last month's Safety Management article, "Buried Alive." The first paragraph describes what it is like for a worker bur- ied in a trench collapse. It is not for the faint of heart, but I am sure your employees will remember it. As I step down from my soapbox, I want to thank everyone who attended NUCA's recent convention in San Antonio and extend my congratulations to all the award winners, including Ryan Kinning, Ditchdigger of the Year, and Gary Lawson, Associate Member of the Year, two well deserving recipients. The success of the convention is largely due to the volunteers who took time to participate in convention-planning conference calls. Thank you to the NUCA staff and all the ED's for your input and assistance. Thank you to this year's chairpersons: Alex Kocher, Penny Danielecki, Andy Wil- liams and John Davis. These are all unsung heroes who put together another excellent convention. Thank you all for your hard work. Having the opportunity to see what happens behind the curtain this year, I can assure you that every last one of these individuals was committed to ensuring the customer satisfaction of all attend- ees. The staff, in particular, remind me of the calm-and-collected duck above the water, but below, they are paddling hard. Thank you all for your hard work Lastly, please take a little time to help our association become stronger: recruit and new member, join a committee or volunteer, help grow the NUCA PAC. We are all at the busiest time of the year, but just a five-minute phone call can help. Have a safe and profitable summer. Mark Fuglevand NUCA Chairman of the Board KBA Inc. NUCA CHAIRMAN'S MESSAG E May/June 2018 Volume 42, Number 3, Utility Contractor (ISSN 1098-0342) publishes 6 issues per year (bi-monthly) for the National Utility Contractors Association by Benjamin Media Inc., 10050 Brecksville Rd., Brecksville, OH 44141. Periodicals postage paid at Cleveland, OH and additional office. One year subscription rates: Complimentary in the USA & Canada and $99 in foreign countries. Single copy rate: $10.00. ©2018 NUCA. All rights reserved by the National Utility Contractors Association for articles contained herein except where otherwise noted. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. Subscription Info. / Address Changes (Postmaster): Utility Contractor Magazine, 10050 Brecksville Road, Brecksville, OH 44141 330-467-7588 subscriptions@benjaminmedia.com Canadian Subscriptions: Canada Post Agreement Number 40830553. Send change of address information and blocks of undeliverable copies to: KML Logistics Group Inc., 118 Herald Ave., Oakville, ON L6K 1S2 Canada NUCA OFFICERS Chairwoman of the Board Mark Fuglevand — Marshbank Construction , WA Chairman-Elect of the Board Dan Buckley — Anchor Construction Corp. , DC Vice Chairman of the Board Fred Chesney — Centerline Utilities, Inc. , FL Treasurer Kevin Cripps — Gen3 Energy Services, LLC , NC Secretary Lauren Atwell — Petticoat-Schmitt Civil Contractors, Inc. , FL Immediate Past Chairman of the Board Kara Habrock — L G Roloff Construction, NE Asst. Secretary and CEO Bill Hillman — bhillman@nuca.com NUCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS NUCA STAFF Chief Executive Officer Bill Hillman — bhillman@nuca.com Chief Operating Officer Chris Barrett — chris@nuca.com Director of Communications Anne Luzier — anne@nuca.com Director of Marketing Cheryl Stratos — cheryl@nuca.com BENJAMIN MEDIA PUBLISHING TEAM Robert Krzys, President robk@benjaminmedia.com James Rush, Editor / Publisher jrush@benajminmedia.com Maura Dugan, Advertising Sales Representative mdugan@benjaminmedia.com Sarah Haughawout, Graphic Designer shaughawout@benjaminmedia.com CONTRACTOR DIRECTORS Lauren C. Atwell, FL Shellie Berger, VA Bill Bocchino, FL Thomas Butler, FL Jason Clark, IA Scot Hattenberg, WA Patrick Holmes, AZ Ryan Kinning, NE Alex Kocher, TX David Lustig, CO Tony Privitera, MO Tom Quinnan, PA Tony Raposo, RI Clay Sorey, FL David E. Stavens, CT NON-CONTRACTOR DIRECTORS Fred Burlbaw, TX Gary Lawson, OK Andy Williams, FL DIRECTORS-AT- LARGE Tom Olson, MN Brian Siska, PA

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