Excavator | September & October

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Trade Release: OSHA Issues Proposed Rule to Extend Compliance Deadline for Crane Operator Certification Requirements

WASHINGTON, DC – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to extend the employer's responsibility to ensure crane operator competency and enforcement for crane operator certification to Nov. 10, 2018.

OSHA issued a final rule in September 2014, extending the deadline by three years for crane operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard. The final rule also extended by three years the employer's responsibility to ensure that crane operators are competent to operate a crane safely.

The agency is now proposing an extension of the enforcement date to address stakeholder concerns over the operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.

Comments may submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details and additional information about this proposed rule. Comments must be submitted by Sept. 29, 2017.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
Washington, D.C.
www.osha.gov

For Immediate Release
August 30, 2017
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

Petroleum Contractor R.W. Mercer Bucks Conventional Wisdom, Utilizes Advantages of Slide Rail Shoring System for UST Installation

By James McRay

We’ve all heard it said, “Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do something.” Such was the case for Petroleum Contractor R.W. Mercer who recently installed a 26,000 gallon capacity underground fuel tank at a site free from previously installed underground utilities and with no surrounding structures. Conventional wisdom would suggest that open-cutting the excavation would be faster and more cost-effective than employing a shoring system. However, Mercer—headquartered in Jackson, Michigan—would tell you that conventional wisdom is not always the wise choice.

“We’ve installed underground fuel tanks before in a ‘no obstruction’ wide open area, and have chosen to open-cut the excavation,” explains Mercer Project Manager, Bill Hunter. “We didn’t need a shoring system for safety reasons—we could slope the trench—but in some cases the soil conditions were worse than expected which meant we had to excavate more dirt, use extra clean backfill, and spend more time restoring the job site when we were done,” Hunter said. “In those instances it would have been faster and easier, and cheaper, to use a shoring system,” he said.

Hunter decided that if future underground projects had similar site conditions, he wouldn’t assume open-cutting would be the best option for excavation safety requirements. So when bidding on a recent UST installation sub-project, Mercer included in their bid the rental of an Efficiency Production manufactured Slide Rail System to shore the excavation.

Efficiency’s Universal Slide Rail is a component shoring system comprised of steel panels (similar to trench shield sidewalls) and vertical steel posts. Slide Rail is installed by sliding the panels into integrated rails on the posts–an outside slotted rail first, then an open-face rail on the inside–then pushing the panels and posts incrementally down to grade as the pit is dug; a process commonly referred to as a “dig and push” shoring system.

“One of the important advantages of a Slide Rail System over open-cutting is that there’s no over-excavation,” explained Tim Hurst, Shoring Specialist in Efficiency Production’s Special Operations Shoring Division. “The system keeps constant pressure against the entirely vertical banks of the excavation, which equals less dirt to move than open-cutting, and less aggregate to backfill,” Hurst said.

Efficiency’s Universal Slide Rail is uniquely designed for UST installations. Its panels, posts, and cross-trench support components can be arranged into a Multi-Bay with Waler configuration, which incorporates 24 inch tie-back waler i-beams at the top of the system on both of the long sides. The waler beams are secured into integrated brackets that connect into a slotted rail on the outside face of the two sets of linear posts. Paired with a “sacrificial member” such as a spreader pipe or timber beam braced cross-trench against the bottom of the linear posts; the entire parallel beam spreader assembly can be completely removed, providing an unobstructed open space as long as 50 to 100 feet.

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mercer tank set

Caption 1: Though the excavation site was free from previously installed underground utilities or surrounding structures, Mercer bucks conventional wisdom and utilizes an Efficiency Production Slide Rail shoring system rather than open-cutting.

mercer tank set

Caption 2: Efficiency’s Slide Rail System is installed from the top down with vertical banks—no over-excavation—which provides a significant time and cost-savings production advantage.

mercer tank set

Caption 3: Mercer’s crew installed a Multi-Bay with Waler configured Slide Rail System which incorporates 24 inch tie-back waler i-beams at the top of the system on both of the long sides which provide Mercer a full 52 feet of open space to set the tank.

mercer tank set

Caption 4: The Efficiency Production and R.W. Mercer crew include (left to right) Efficiency’s Tim Hurst; and R.W. Mercer’s Bill Hunter, Carissa Carpenter, Dave Show, Matt Gundrum, Tim Thompson, and Adam Peek.

Recognized Instructors and Programs Applications

NAXSA Recognized Instructors

Earning a NAXSA's recognized instructor designation is fast-becoming a sought-after credential in the trench shoring industry. Recognized instructors embody NAXSA’s goal of “zero deaths and injuries” in trench shoring. The program ensures instructors are trained in construction safety, shoring and shielding, OSHA Standards, meet the required levels of training experience, and are qualified to teach the material.

Additionally, recognized instructors have proven teaching skills that are effective for knowledge sharing, allow students to stay focused and engaged in their courses, and effectively use instruction aids such as presentations and real-world examples.

NAXSA Recognized Training Programs

Validate your trench shoring training program!

Having a NAXSA Recognized Training Program illustrates your dedication to safety in the trench shoring industry. All reviewed with a keen eye to ensure the program is presented by a knowledgeable & qualified trainer and to validate the program is of the highest quality and benefit to participants. Recognized programs are of the highest caliber!

Requirements include complete review of the program's:

  • Training manual
  • Presentation
  • Presentation handouts
  • Additional program material

Only NAXSA Recognized Instructors may facilitate NAXSA Recognized Training Programs.

Trinity Shoring Products, Inc. Acquires Trench Shielding and Shoring Manufacturer Efficiency Production, Inc.

On July 14, 2017, Trinity Shoring Products, Inc., through a subsidiary, acquired all substantial assets of Efficiency Production Inc. Trinity will continue to operate the 46-year-old trench shielding and shoring manufacturer under their primary name, Efficiency Production.

Trinity Shoring Products currently operates within the trench shoring and shielding market under the brands of Pro-Tec Equipment and GME, which Trinity acquired in a 2004 merger. Efficiency Production will continue to operate separately under its current brand name with no changes in personnel or point-of-contact for customers. Additionally, the acquisition will have no effect on the business operations or personnel at Pro-Tec or GME.
“Efficiency Production is one of the country’s leading trench shoring manufacturers, and we are very excited to bring their strong brand name and manufacturing capability into Trinity Shoring Products’ family of businesses,” said Joe Zylman, President of Trinity Shoring Products. “We believe this acquisition is a positive step in positioning both Efficiency and Trinity for continued growth and product innovation.”

Efficiency Production’s operations will be overseen by Rod Austin, the company’s previously titled Vice President of Sales, now General Manager. “Our number one goal is to make this transition as seamless as possible for our dealers and customers,” said Austin. “We are very pleased with the level of understanding our new owners have for the needs of our customers, and our intent is to continue our high level of customer support.”

Assuming the head of Efficiency’s sales department will be Al Baron with the new title National Sales Manager. Baron has been a Shoring Specialist in the company’s Special Operations Shoring Division for the past four years.

Efficiency’s North American and International dealer partners were sent notices last week that all design and engineering support, as well as Slide Rail installation assistance, will remain the same as before the acquisition. All customers were advised to continue communicating with their existing Efficiency Production sales and rental representative.

All manufacturing operations will remain at the company’s 685 Hull Rd, Mason, Michigan (48854) headquarters. Efficiency’s toll-free number, 800-552-8800; business telephone number, 517-676-8800; and fax number, 517-676-0373, remain the same. The company’s website address,www.efficiencyproduction.com, also will not change, though all personnel will now have an email address composed as first.last@trin.net.
Efficiency Production remains “America’s Trench Box Builder™,” and no product names or branding will alter under Trinity Shoring Products’ administration. Any technical or engineering documents such as P.E.-stamped Tabulated Data remain valid with existing documentation.

Trinity Shoring Products, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dallas-based Trinity Industries, Inc. Trinity is a publicly traded, multi-industry company that owns a variety of market-leading businesses in the industrial, energy, transportation, and construction industries. Visit www.trin.net for more information.

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Trinity Shoring logo

Contact: James McRay, Director of Marketing & Media
Telephone: 517-676-8800; james.mcray@trin.net

OSHA News Release — Region 4: OSHA Investigation Finds Safety Failures Led to the Death of Three Workers who Entered a Manhole Containing Lethal Gases

July 18, 2017

Utility contractor cited for 10 serious violations

KEY LARGO, Fla. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a South Florida utility company and related contracting company after the agency’s investigation into the deaths of three workers who succumbed to toxic gases in a manhole on Jan. 16, 2017.

A 34-year-old pipe layer entered the manhole – a confined space – and quickly became unresponsive. A 49-year-old laborer entered the hole and attempted to rescue the first employee. After the second employee also became unresponsive, a 24-year-old equipment operator followed to help his fallen coworkers. All three men died. Post-incident atmospheric testing in the manhole revealed lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide. Two other employees and a volunteer firefighter were also exposed to the toxic gases in the manhole during rescue attempts but survived.

OSHA investigators cited Douglas N. Higgins, Inc. and its related contracting company, McKenna Contracting, LLC with 10 serious violations totaling $119,507, in penalties. The incident-related serious violations are for failing to purge or ventilate the confined space before entry, exposing the workers to an asphyxiation hazard, and not providing necessary rescue and emergency equipment for employees that were overcome inside a permit-required confined space.

In addition, OSHA issued serious citations to Higgins and McKenna Contracting for failing to:

  • Develop and implement a written hazard communication program for a worksite in which employees were exposed to dangerous chemicals and gases.
  • Use a calibrated direct-reading device to test for toxic gases, creating an asphyxiation hazard.
  • Create and document the confined space entry permit.
  • Provide training to employees in the safe performance of their assigned duties in permit-required confined spaces.
  • Provide a guardrail around the manhole opening, exposing employees to a fall hazard.

“The hazards of working in manholes are well established, but there are ways to make it safe,” said Condell Eastmond, the OSHA area director in Fort Lauderdale. “Three employees needlessly lost their lives and others were injured due to their employer’s failure to follow safe work practices.”

The citations for D.N. Higgins can be viewed at: https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/newsroom/newsreleases/OSHA20171001.pdf

Founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, D.N. Higgins expanded in 1989 with the opening of its Naples office. The company specializes in underground installations of mechanical systems, pump stations, storm water drainage systems and municipal infrastructure. McKenna Contracting, LLC was formed in 2012 and is a related company that provides contract administration and labor to Higgins’ jobsites in Florida.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Fort Lauderdale Area Office at 954-424-0242.

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Media Contacts:
Eric R. Lucero, 678-237-0630, lucero.eric.r@dol.gov
Michael D’Aquino, 678-237-0630, daquino.michael@dol.gov
Release Number: 17-1001-ATL (104)


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Centerconverts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

2017 Webinar Series: This Is Your Year!

David Dow

Webinar: Confined Spaces
Speaker: David Dow
Recorded on: March 10, 2017
Restrictions: NAXSA Members-only (sign-into your NAXSA profile prior to "registering")

Webinar: Crane Safety
Speaker: Ronald Overton
Recorded on: March 10, 2017
Restrictions: NAXSA Members-only (sign-into your NAXSA profile prior to "registering")

Webinar: Pipe Plug
Recorded on: March 10, 2017
Restrictions: NAXSA Members-only (sign-into your NAXSA profile prior to "registering")

View NAXSA Webinars

2017 NAXSA Board Member Spotlight

Ryan Zweerink
Ryan Zweerink
Board Member
President
Ozark Laser & Shoring
Springfield, MO
rzweerink@ozarklaser.com

Ron Chilton
Ron Chilton
President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Trench Safety
Houston, TX
ronchilton@ntsafety.com

View the complete Board Member list.

Mark Your Calendars to Join Us at the 2018 Annual Convention in Arizona!

hotel and casino logo wild horses pass

May 8–10, 2018

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd
Chandler, Arizona 85226 USA

Website: www.wingilariver.com/index

Interested in Joining a NAXSA Committee?

Find out more on supporting NAXSA by giving back!

Excavator Newsletter Submission Deadlines

Friday, October 27 - November/December
Monday January 8 - January/February (2018)
Friday, February 23 – March/April (2018)
Monday, May 21 – May/June (2018)

Submit news and photos to news@naxsa.org.

NAXSA Core Purpose: To promote the safe and efficient use of excavation shoring practices.

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