Excavator | March/April 2018

A message from NAXSA

Register Now for the 2018 Annual Convention in Arizona!

convention banner

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 and register.

Convention Keynote Speaker

Brian ShulBrian Shul

SR-71 Blackbird Pilot

Author of Sled Driver: Flying the World’s Fastest Jet

Thursday, May 11
3:15-4:15 pm

About Brian
Brian graduated from East Carolina University in 1970 with a degree in History and Anthropology. He went on to become an Air Force fighter pilot for the next twenty years. During the Viet Nam War he flew 212 missions before his aircraft was shot down. Forced to ride his plane into the jungle, he was severely burned in the ensuing crash, and given up for dead. Eventually rescued, Brian endured one year in military hospitals where he underwent 15 surgical procedures and was told he would never fly again.

After much physical therapy, Brian miraculously returned to active duty flying fighter jet aircraft. He became an airshow demonstration pilot, was selected for the first A-10 squadron, and instructed at the Air Force’s TopGun School. He culminated his Air Force career by flying our nation’s Top Secret spy plane, the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest aircraft ever built. Brian flew covert missions in the Blackbird for 4 years and was the pilot who provided President Reagan with detailed photos of Libyan terrorist camps in 1986.

Brian Shul - Man and Machine

Retiring from the Air Force in1990, Brian pursued his writing and photography interests. He was the first pilot to write a book about flying the Blackbird, completely illustrated with his own photography. This book won Aviation Book of the Year honors and is today the single most popular book on that plane worldwide.

Brian’s remarkable comeback story has inspired audiences nationwide as he is in high demand as a keynote speaker. Brian is a Spirit of Freedom Award winner, a Paul Harris Fellow, and in 2011 was inducted into the Air Force Legends Hall of Fame. He is a sponsor of the Wounded Warrior program and owns Gallery One in California where his nationally acclaimed nature photography is on display.

4th Annual Golf Tournament

Whirlwind Club

Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
11:00 AM Shotgun Start

About the Course
Built into the ancient, native landscape is 36 holes of championship golf designed by renowned architect Gary Panks. A true test of golf, the Cattail and Devil's Claw courses truly are desert golf, evolved. Staffed with talented and devoted professionals, Whirlwind Golf Club has become one of the premier golf facilities in the Southwest. A round at Whirlwind is quiet, peaceful and feels like a destination golf club, yet it is only 11 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Experience for yourself the best golf and dining experience in the south Valley. Get more information and register.

Desert Botanical Garden Tour

Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
9:30 am to 1:00 pm

Experience and embrace the magnificent beauty of the desert through a variety of tours and activities at the Desert Botanical Garden that will make your visit unforgettable. After touring the Botanical Garden the group will have lunch together before making our way back to Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino. Get more information.

Convention Sponsors

 Trench Plate Rental    
 United Rental      

President's Corner

By: Dave Nicoli

Due to the work of our dedicated volunteer members and staff, a lot of progress is happening in NAXSA. A few of the initiatives in progress are mentioned below just to name a few. 

We continue to work with OSHA on national and multiple local levels. The biggest news to date is we will be joining NUCA and OSHA on a national stand down event very soon. More information will be forthcoming but please save the date and get all your people invested when that date is finalized.

Jasper Calcara, along with the Engineering Committee, are working with manufacturers to begin using the board approved NAXSA tab data format. This is an important initiative and one of the first projects the committee worked on and it’s thankfully ready.  A big thank you goes out to the Engineering Committee!

The NAXSA National Liability and Workers Comp Insurance program is well in-progress. A few companies are reporting that they have signed up and the program is already saving them money as well as being a more comprehensive policy than in their past. It’s not ready to officially roll out yet but it will be soon. This will be a huge bonus and savings for our members.

The Convention Committee has put together a great program for NAXSA 4th Annual Convention, to be held this May, and registrations are tracking ahead of schedule. Visit our website for more details and register now if you have not already done so!

Four training videos have been produced and can be found on our NAXSA YouTube channel. These four videos are the first steps in what we hope will be hundreds of videos available in the future. More information can found in the following video article. Thank you to the NAXSA Safety Committee.

Finally, as I close out my term as your President I would like to say that there is so much more we can do but we need your help. I will soon be proposing a few new committees in the coming weeks - the Video Committee and the OSHA Outreach Committee to name a few.  We are also looking for a person to lead the Safety Committee as David Dow is retiring at the end of 2018. David has been a super volunteer and he will be missed.  And as always, we are looking for Board of Directors and Officers so please volunteer. WE NEED YOU NOW! 

NAXSA Training Committee Unveils Trench Safety Videos

The NAXSA Training Committee is pleased to announce the release of the four training videos to be use by NAXSA Recognized Trainers and all association members. The videos are accessible on NAXSA’s YouTube channel. All NAXSA members are encouraged to Subscribe to the association’s YouTube Channel and Like the videos if they choose.

The four videos focus on:

  • How to Install and Remove Hydraulic Vertical Shores
    Presented by David V. Dow with NAXSA Member Underground Safety Equipment, this video details the proper procedure to install and remove hydraulic vertical shores, as well as when Finform may be required for use with hydraulic shores.
  • Inspecting Trench Shields
    Dow performs a ‘walk-around’ of a trench shield pointing out the various items that should be inspected before determining the shield safe for operation.
  • How to Assemble and Disassemble a Steel Trench Shield
    James McRay with NAXSA member manufacturer Efficiency Production narrates the proper steps to safely assemble and disassemble a steel trench shield, as well as the safety precautions that must be observed.
  • Inspecting Hydraulic Shores and Pump Can
    Dow details the important inspection process that should be performed on all hydraulic vertical shores and shoring fluid pump cans before any hydraulic shoring equipment is safely put into use.

In addition to Dow and McRay, the Training Committee’s video working group included Ron Wey with NAXSA member manufacturer Pro-Tec Equipment.


In the video How to Install and Remove Hydraulic Vertical Shores, NAXSA Training Committee Chairman, David V. Dow, demonstrates the proper procedure to remove a hydraulic shore from a trench.

NAXSA Insurance Program

Anyone that attended last year’s convention may remember the efforts by the Harris Madden & Powell (HMP) Insurance Company out of Memphis, TN, to launch an industrywide insurance program for NAXSA members.  The possible program earned a lot of interest and Blake Dickens of HMP, who presented at the conference, in turn stayed in touch with us throughout the year.  In fact, Underground Safety / Trench Safety participated in their initial industry survey as they evaluated the potential of such a program. We know how hard it can be to get underwriters excited and to understand the relatively low risk of our industry.  The goal in the surveys was to gather enough data and convince at least one large insurance company to not only quote our liability insurance but take a holistic view of all our insurance needs at a competitive rate.

I am pleased to announce that not only was HMP the most competitive responder to our annual insurance RFP, but they were also the most comprehensive.  Underground Safety / Trench Safety renewed with Travelers Insurance, a national A+ rated carrier, and did so at our most competitive rates in years. 

While all the details of a NAXSA Insurance program are still being worked out, we are now convinced this could be a win / win situation for all involved.  By participating in this NAXSA Insurance Program almost ready to be rolled out, we saved enough in premiums to easily pay our NAXSA dues many times over!

Keep this in mind as your insurance renewal time approaches and contact Blake at HMP to see if there might be a hidden gem in your NAXSA membership.  You can visit HMP’s website at www.hmpins.com or reach out directly to Blake at (901) 316-1071.

Warm regards,

Howard Nute
President of Underground Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Penalties for Colorado Concrete Company After Employee Injured in Trench Collapse

OSHA News Release- Region 8, March 14, 2018
US Department of Labor
Release Number: 18-354-DEN

ENGLEWOOD, CO – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Langston Concrete Inc. for failing to protect its workers from trench collapse hazards. The Colorado Springs company faces proposed penalties of $90,535.

On Dec. 7, 2017, OSHA responded after a trench collapsed on four employees. One employee was buried, and suffered a broken hip and femur. Three others were partially covered, but uninjured. Prior to the collapse, the employees were preparing to install a diverter box on an existing storm water pipe. OSHA cited the company for not removing employees from a hazardous work area, and for failing to install cave-in protection.

“This trench collapse, and the injuries it caused, could have been prevented if the employer had used required cave-in protection,” said David Nelson, OSHA Englewood Area Office Director.

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.

# # #

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).

Beaver County Plumber Sentenced in Trench Collapse Death

Torsten Ove, February 21, 2018
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Beaver County plumber who violated federal worksite regulations and caused the death of a young man in a trench collapse apologized in court Wednesday and was sentenced to probation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy sentenced him to two years of probation, although he could have received six months in federal prison. She said his remorse, his poor health and the fact that he has to pay an $87,000 fine to the government were the reasons he could avoid being locked up. Read the complete story.

Sterling Hts. Man, 39, Victim of Trench Collapse

Charles E. Ramirez, The Detroit News
February 27, 2018

Police have released the name of the construction worker who died after a trench he was working in collapsed Monday in Sterling Heights.

The victim has been identified as Jason Holmes, 39, of Sterling Heights, said Sterling Heights Police Lt. Mario Bastianelli.

Bastianelli said Holmes was doing some underground prep work in a trench that is about 20 feet long, 4 feet wide and 12 feet deep. Officials said the contractor was attempting to disconnect a sewer line.

The victim was alone in the trench and no other person was injured in the collapse, Bastianelli said.

He also said police continue to investigate the worker's death, but it doesn't appear at this time any charges will be filed. Read the complete story.

Executive Management Addition at Trench Plate® Rental Co.

Patrick W. (“Pat”) Lowry joined Trench Plate® Rental Co. as Executive Vice President – Chief Operating Officer effective August 17, 2017. Pat has over 30 years of experience in construction, industrial and commercial rental equipment services including executive level management experience in operations and sales.

Pat joined Trench Plate® Rental Co. from Mobile Mini, Inc., the world’s largest portable storage equipment rental company with total assets over $2.0 billion, net rental equipment assets of $1.0 billion, and over 2,000 employees located in approximately 140 rental locations in North America and 20 in the United Kingdom. Beginning in 2014, Pat served as Mobile Mini’s Senior Vice President of Operations with responsibility for the company’s Western U.S and Canadian operations which represents nearly 60% of Mobile Mini’s total operations. Prior to Mobile Mini, Pat spent 25 years in various management positions with PRIME Equipment Rental, RSC Equipment Rental, and United Rentals, subsequent to their purchase of RSC in 2012.

“We are extremely pleased that Pat, a 30-year veteran of the equipment rental industry, decided to join our Company” said Graeme Gilfillan, President & CEO of Trench Plate® Rental Co. “He has already proven to be a tremendous addition to our executive management team.”

For more information about Trench Plate® Rental Co. please visit www.tprco.com.

Ohio contractor builds new BMP storm sewer with Slide Rail System manufactured by, and supplied from NAXSA members Efficiency Production and Baker Corp

By James McRay

Construction, construction, construction. Road construction as far as the eye can see. This is probably what residents in Columbus, Ohio, think when they travel practically anywhere. And due to the multi-year Interstates 70/71 Columbus Crossroads project, much of the freeways in downtown Columbus will be under construction into the next decade.

With a civil project as large as the 70/71, a lot of the construction is not just road paving and bridge reconstruction; it is the installation or rehabilitation of underground utilities such as the miles of pipes for gas, water, and sewers. Though perhaps a little less high-profile, these out-of-sight infrastructure projects are just as important.

Taking on one of these behind the scenes—though no less extraordinary—infrastructure projects was SHELLY & SANDS, Inc. (SSI); based in Zanesville, Ohio. SSI were low-bidder on an ODOT project to install a new sewer system that diverts water from a large existing sewer line through four hydrodynamic separators that "clean" storm-water runoff before it is discharged into the Scioto River.

This was not an easy excavation project. It was in fact, four different excavation projects; each a different depth; some with different soil condition; some with existing crossing utilities to navigate; and each having different sized pipes, structures, and/or manholes to install within. Complicating matters further was the fact that the Best Management Practices (BMP) sewer project needed to be installed over a length of one block that was bordered narrowly between a western section of the I-70/71 corridor and an apartment building. Read the complete story.


Overseeing the design and installation of the Slide Rail System are (left to right): Baker Corp’s Jeff Riddle; SHELLY & SANDS’ Brian Snode; and Efficiency Production’s Senior Slide Rail Installer, Dan Meredith.

Interested in Joining a NAXSA Committee?

Find out more on supporting NAXSA by giving back!

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

NAXSA facebook NAXSA Twitter NAXSA LInked-in NAXSA NAXSA NAXSA NAXSA website NAXSA website NASXSA website NASXSA website Liniked-In Twitter Facebook