Excavator | January/February 2018

A message from NAXSA

Plan to Join Us at the 2018 Annual Convention in Arizona!

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May 9–11, 2018

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

Join us as we kick off the 4th Annual NAXSA Convention in Chandler, Arizona! NAXSA’s Convention offers one-of-a-kind networking opportunities, and educational seminars tailored exclusively for those in excavation shoring practices. Get more information.

President's Corner

By: Dave Nicoli

There are many things happening at NAXSA that are generating plenty of excitement. NAXSA reached out to OSHA in Washington, DC to begin the process of forging a long-term relationship in a manner that is beneficial to both our organizations and our common goals. OSHA asked us if we could work with the Kansas City District (Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska) and the Denver District (North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado) and possibly the Philadelphia District (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, DC.). Deaths have been rising in these districts in the past few years and they want any help they can get from us as an industry to bring them down. David Dow and Wendell Wood are working on this project with some great ideas that they will be reporting on at our annual meeting. The OSHA top brass has committed to be at our annual convention, too. This will be your chance to visit with the decision makers from Washington, DC.

The Engineering Committee, under the strong leadership of Jasper Calcara, submitted the final version of the NAXSA RECOMMENDED TAB DATA FORMAT and the Board of Directors has approved the document. This was a major undertaking that brought all the parties together to come to a solution that makes great sense for our industry.

The training committee is making short training videos that will be free to our members and the public.

The insurance committee has been very active with the Trump administration changes.

I am very proud of having worked with many fine people on these committees and other projects which will all be laid out at our annual convention. NAXSA started out 4 years ago and we are starting to make a difference. The future is very bright for us!

NAXSA Training Committee produces four important trench safety videos for association and public use

On December 14, 2017, members of the NAXSA Training Committee convened in snowy Michigan to film four training videos for use by NAXSA Recognized Trainers and all association members. The four videos focused on:

  • How to Install and Remove Hydraulic Vertical Shores
  • Inspecting Trench Shields
  • How to Assemble and Disassemble a Steel Trench Shield
  • Inspecting Hydraulic Shores and Pump Can

Performing the video production were: David V. Dow, Underground Safety Equipment; Ron Wey, Pro-Tec Equipment; James McRay, Efficiency Production; and Joe Flannigan, Ewald Consulting. The production was hosted by Efficiency Production, and shot at their headquarters in Mason, Michigan.

“The goal of these short videos is to provide all NAXSA trainers a quick and easy tool when conducting trench safety training,” said Dow, NAXSA Training Committee Chairman. “However, the videos will eventually be available on NAXSA’s YouTube Channel as a resource for everyone—trainers, contractors, educators—who could benefit from learning how to perform these specific but very important functions of trench safety.”

The videos are being produced and edited by Ewald Consulting’s Joe Flannigan. The videos will be premiered at the NAXSA Convention, May 9-11, 2018 in Chandler, Arizona.

Trinity Shoring logo

Joe Flannigan, Ewald Consulting (Foreground) videotapes NAXSA Training Committee Chairman, David V. Dow, as he goes through the process of  inspecting hydraulic vertical shores and pump can.

NAXSA Congratulates its Newest Recognized Instructor – Francisco Sarmiento

NAXSA would like to congratulate Francisco Sarmiento of Trench Shore Rentals, Phoenix, Arizona, as its newest NAXSA Recognized Instructor.  Francisco joins 10 other professionals within the NAXSA membership who have illustrated their thorough knowledge and commitment to trench shoring and shielding training.  Congratulations again to Francisco!

NAXSA Recognized Insructor

About the NAXSA Recognized Program
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. 

For a full list of Recognized Instructors, please visit http://www.naxsa.org/page/recog_instructors

NAXSA Insurance Program: A unique program customized to meet the needs of the NAXSA membership

During the NAXSA 2017 Annual Conference, a breakout session on the feasibility of an insurance program was introduced and the interest level among members was very high. Data on existing members was collected, research was conducted and presentations were given to several national insurance Carriers. After many meetings, NAXSA agents were able to help the carriers understand the real risk rather than the perceived risk of the trench shield & shoring industry. The insurance carriers began to understand the value of working with best in class companies inside the NAXSA membership.  

NAXSA has already begun the next step in developing an insurance program which is to underwrite, quote and place NAXSA business with these insurance carriers in order to create a premium basis sufficient for the implementation of a true program. There have been several leadership accounts that have taken this first step and NAXSA’s insurance agent has placed business with these cooperative insurance carriers. This process has helped NAXSA focus on the carriers that will support the future Program and eliminate those that were not competitive. With these accounts that have been written, it has been encouraging to see that the premium and coverage has been very competitive.  

As presented at the 2017 conference, NAXSA and our insurance agents are making progress in developing a more inclusive liability form specific to NAXSA members. They are also developing loss control and risk management methods specific to NAXSA members’ needs, and with the help of the carriers, they are also developing contracts that will help mitigate risk for all members.

All of these efforts lead to the potential savings for NAXSA members when the program is fully developed and rolled out.

NAXSA and our agents appreciate the great feedback and willingness from some members to be involved in this trial program and we are all excited about the future of a NAXSA insurance program.

Death in the Trench

Jim Spencer suffocated under a pile of dirt in Nebraska — a grim reminder of the weakness of America’s worker-safety law.

By: Jim Morris, December 14, 2017
The Center for Public Integrity

In the front yard of a ranch-style house at 2812 Toluca Avenue stands an evergreen tree perhaps four feet high. It marks, by chance, the approximate location of Jim Spencer’s death.

Few have reason to know this. One who does is Spencer’s wife, Cheryl, who has parked her Dodge Durango across the street on a late summer morning but does not get out. She was here on the afternoon of March 21, 2016, when the house was under construction. Her husband, a plumber, had been on his knees, laying sewer pipe in an eight-foot-deep trench, when a co-worker driving a backhoe inadvertently buried him in dirt. She watched behind the yellow tape as firefighters and emergency medical technicians worked to extract his 220-pound body. When she last saw him, he was lifeless on a backboard, soil sprinkled in his grey beard and smeared on his forehead. Read the complete story.

Seattle construction company owner faces manslaughter charges over worker death

KHQ Seattle (NBC), January 8, 2018

SEATTLE – The King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed second-degree manslaughter charges against the owner of a Seattle-area construction firm in connection with the death of a worker who was killed when the dirt walls of the trench he was working in collapsed and buried him on a job site in West Seattle two years ago.

It's the first time a Washington employer has faced felony charges for a workplace fatality.

The charges were filed against Phillip Numrich, the owner of Alki Construction. After the state Department of Labor & Industries investigation of the death, the state cited and fined the company in 2016 for multiple workplace safety violations, including "willful" violations – the most severe. Read more.

Georgia Safety Stand-Down Focuses on Winter Weather Hazards

ATLANTA, GA –The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Georgia are partnering to sponsor a week-long campaign to reinforce the importance of workplace safety during the winter months. The cold weather Safety Stand-Down is scheduled for the week of Jan. 22-26, 2018. Events will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. EST.

Slips and falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries in the construction industry. Slick surfaces, strong winds, and below freezing temperatures present risks of serious or fatal injuries to employees who work outdoors.

During the Stand-Down, employers across Georgia are encouraged to voluntarily stop work for an hour to review best practices and train employees on cold weather-related hazards of their job; how to monitor and recognize the symptoms of cold stress; provide first aid and call for medical assistance; and select proper clothing for cold, wet, and windy conditions.

Employers can register to participate in the Stand-Down on the AGC of Georgia website. For more information, contact Christi Griffin in OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office at 678-903-7301; Bill Fulcher in the Atlanta-East Area Office at 770-493-6644; or Margo Westmoreland in the Savannah Area Office at 912-652-4393.

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 http://www.osha.gov.

# # #

U.S. Department of Labor
OSHA News Release - Region 4
Release Number:  17-1636-ATL (3)

For Immediate Release
January 4, 2018
Contact: Michael D’Aquino, 678-237-0630 daquino.michael@dol.gov
Eric Lucero, 678-237-0630

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).

National Trench Safety Announces Key Organizational Promotions and Addition

HOUSTON, TX—National Trench Safety, LLC (NTS), a Houston-based company specializing in the rental and sales of trench and traffic safety equipment, trench and traffic safety engineering, and OSHA- compliant training classes, announced key organizational promotions and an addition to its team today.

The company has promoted Wes Jones to the new positon of Sr. VP of Operational Support. In this new role, Wes will be overseeing many facets of the day to day business operations including safety, training, the NTS University and managing the large non fleet assets for the Company.

The company has promoted David Beaver to the new position of Vice President of United States Operations. David had previously served as the Mid-Atlantic District Manager for NTS and led the successful growth of key start-up operations within that district. David will be tasked with managing the company’s US based operations and will be working closely with Robert Stevenson, NTS’ VP of Sales and Engineering.

With the promotion of David, NTS has restructured its districts while promoting Dan Williamson to the new position of Northeast District Manager. Dan is a well-known trench safety industry veteran and had previously served as NTS’ Chicago Branch Manager.

NTS also announced the addition of Mr. Ray Bilby as the company’s National and Key Accounts Manager. Ray is a highly seasoned trench safety professional that will be charged with growing the company’s strategic account program.

Read the complete press release.

Interested in Joining a NAXSA Committee?

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

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