Excavator | May 2019

A message from NAXSA

In this Issue:

President's Corner

Trench Safety Stand Down Week

NAXSA’s New Management Update

Registered Professional Engineer, Tabulated Data and Interstate Commerce: Your Questions Answered

OSHA investigating 5 trench deaths occurring in less than 10 days

Excavation contractor implements unique shoring solution for fire-safety system installation at nuclear generation plant

NAXSA and HMP Insurance: Working Together to Increase the Benefits of Program Participation

NAXSA Reminds you to Dig Safely!

Industry News & Resources

NAXSA Committees

NAXSA Calendar

Do You Have News?

President's Corner

By: Ron Chilton

As we are now moving into the “busy season” and are quickly approaching summer, I hope everyone has seen the benefits from the current strong USA economy. NAXSA and its staff have been quite busy so far this year. Getting our associations “house in order” after the management firm change over and holding our convention in Las Vegas, has taken some time and a great deal of effort. Thankfully, today our accounting, marketing, membership section, communications, website and program issues and needs have all been cleaned up and are now working great. This should allow the staff, officers and committee members at NAXSA to push hard on some of our other more aggressive agenda items.

Beginning with this newsletter you will hopefully start to see more routine communications from NAXSA as well as additional informational Zingers as topics come up. The new Industry Directory was rolled out at our Las Vegas convention this year, has been well received. We are also starting to work on the next edition of the Membership Directory that we hope to have out by our 2020 convention in Phoenix. All of us at the committee, officer and staff levels are working hard to make sure the members of NAXSA see this young and exciting organization is delivering real value to its members.

The big project NAXSA has been working on over the last couple of months is the joint OSHA/NAXSA Trench Safety Summit. We are using the same model and building on the success that we had with our first NAXSA/OSHA event that was held last year in Denver. This year, OSHA in partnership with NAXSA and its members, have gotten very aggressive and are going to be holding four of these joint training events in four different cities. OSHA helped direct the four markets we picked for this year’s event. The four cities holding the events this year are Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver and Seattle.

The Denver team has a big jump on the rest of the cities as it held its very successful event last year and is rolling the planning for that event forward to this year. Planning is in high gear in all four cities and we expect to see some strong participation in each of the markets. To pull all this off, we need your help, so if want to join in and participate in one or more of these Trench Safety Summits, please let Melanie know at NAXSA headquarters. The process of putting on one of these big events is huge. With that said, the benefits to the customers, end users and our industry are massive.

As we did in 2018, NAXSA has again joined with NUCA and OSHA to help organize, promote and spearhead the 2019 nationwide “Trench Safety Stand Down” (TSSD) program to be held on June 17th-21st. NAXSA is a big supporter of this event and last year NAXSA members submitted documentation of over 15,000 trained individuals during the official stand down process. This year, NAXSA is hoping to exceed that number and needs each of our members to push hard to train as many customers and end users as possible on the hazards of working in and around excavations. Forms are available on the NAXSA website for each member to report the number of TSSD classes they hold and the number of attendees trained in the coming couple of weeks. I again ask that everyone get involved here and try to hold as many TSSD classes as possible during the week of June 17th to 21st. This program benefits everyone in and around our industry and if we can save just one life this year, it is well worth the effort.

As has been stated before, NAXSA is a volunteer organization whose mission is to represent the Trench Safety Dealers, Vendors, Rental House’s and Engineering members that all are a part of our industry. The association is looking for additional volunteers to get involved in NAXSA to lend their talents, voices and ideas to help direct and drive this association as it further matures. I respectfully ask that each of you consider volunteering for a committee position or get involved in any area where you think you might make a contribution. This is all of our association and we need new ideas, input and talent in so many areas.

I wish everyone a very safe, prosperous and successful second quarter and look forward to a great TSSD week in June.

Best regards,


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2019 Trench Safety Stand Down Week June 17-21

North American Excavation Shoring Association


The 2018 Trench Safety Stand Down was officially endorsed by OSHA.

Trench Safety Stand Down is also sponsored by the NUCA Safety Ambassadors Club.

What is a Safety Stand Down?

A Safety Stand Down presents the opportunity for employers to talk directly to employees and others about safety. These Stand Downs will focus on trench and excavation hazards and reinforce the importance of using trench protective systems and protecting workers from trench hazards.

Who Should Participate?

Anyone who wants to prevent trenching and excavation hazards in the workplace can participate in the Stand Down. We encourage utility construction, residential, highway construction, plumbers, military, unions, associations, educational institutes, and safety equipment manufacturers to participate. Please see the links to the materials to use during Stand Down week.

How Companies Can Conduct a Safety Stand Down

Companies will conduct a Trench Safety Stand Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity to draw attention to the specific hazards related to working in and around trenches/excavations. We ask that companies provide feedback about their Stand Down, such as when it was held, how many workers participated and how you shared information with employees.

Recognition of Participation

Every company or organization that holds a TSSD will receive a certificate of participation as well as hard hat stickers for all employees who participated. Recognition will also be given in a press release and sponsor publications.

TSSD details as well as fact sheets, forms for participation, and TSSD posters for downloading can be found here.

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NAXSA’s New Management Update

By: Melanie McKee

I am delighted to provide you with some information on my experience in the world of association management. In 1987 I went to work for the National Office Products Association (NOPA) in Alexandria, Virginia, where I served as the Meetings Manager on a convention team that produced an annual convention for more than 10,000 attendees that included 500 exhibitors.

In 1991 I accepted a position as Director of Meetings and Conventions with the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where I grew the attendance and exhibits of their convention by about 10% each year. In 1998 I was asked to expand my association management experience by overseeing the charitable arm of the association, the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation (ATSSF), where I managed contribution growth until my departure in the summer of 2015.

In 2016 my husband and I relocated to the Nashville area where we now reside. I opened my association management consulting business last year and I was thrilled to be hired by NAXSA as your Executive Director. This is an exciting time for me to singularly manage the day to day operations of NAXSA and support the goal of Zero Deaths in Trenches.

I enjoyed meeting so many of you at the annual convention this year and I am looking forward to getting to know all of you better. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at any time with your questions or concerns.

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Registered Professional Engineer, Tabulated Data and Interstate Commerce: Your Questions Answered

By: Joe turner, P.E. – Director of Engineering, Research and Product Development for National Trench Safety

At the most recent NAXSA Convention, February 27 through March 1, there was a discussion about the validity of tabulated data and the engineers stamp. There were a couple of specific questions that were asked. These two questions have been common within our industry since the adoption of OSHA Subpart P since it was adopted at the end of 1989.

Click here for full article

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OSHA investigating 5 trench deaths occurring in less than 10 days

The attached link should make every NAXSA member understand the value of the services we provide as an industry and make us aware we still have a lot of work to do to realize our goal of ZERO DEATHS IN TRENCHES.

Click here for full article

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Excavation contractor implements unique shoring solution
for fire-safety system installation at nuclear generation plant

by James McRay, Efficiency Production

Sometimes, redundancy is a good thing. Especially when considering safety at one of the country’s nuclear generation plants. All systems must be working efficiently with back-ups to the back-ups. That is why one such nuclear power plant contracted the installation of a new generator-powered fire-suppression system to back up the existing power-dependent fire-suppression system.

This particular “excavation” project presented a unique challenge for the contractor charged with installing more than 1,000 linear feet of pipe and conduit. The challenge? Most of the high-pressure water pipeline was installed underground at the facility. Normally, this would not be a problem for any experienced underground utility contractor, except for one thing. There are A LOT of pipes and utilities already in the ground at the nuclear plant, crisscrossing the path of the new fire-safety system.

Click here for full article

The Build-A-Box (trademark symbol) Sheeting Guide Frame utilizes lightweight corrugated sheets of aluminum to shore closely around existing cross-trench utilities.
All told, piles, conduits, and duct-banks crossed the new trench at 22 points. 
Another advantage of the all-aluminum sheets is that the contractor could cover the new water pipe with flowable fill directly against the sheets; no forms necessary.  SMDC had on rent over 80 guide frame panels and almost 650 8-foot-long corrugated aluminum sheets to shore the entire length of open trench. 

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NAXSA and HMP Insurance: Working Together to Increase the Benefits of Program Participation

By: Blake Dickens, HMP Insurance

Insurance in our Industry can be difficult. Insurance carriers have a misperception of the shoring industry which can cause higher premiums and coverage gaps. As you may know, over the past 2 years, NAXSA has been developing a program to help change the misperception that the insurance industry has as well as give our members an insurance product that is competitive and offers industry specific coverage. Through HMP Insurance and their work with educating some of the top national insurance carriers, there has been great progress in helping them understand the true risk that a trench shoring company has in the market. HMP has had early success in building a foundation of the insurance program with key partners like Trench Shore Rentals, Underground Safety, DP Nicoli, Underground Products of Texas and others. We look to grow the program this year so that we can continue to add more benefits around coverage, price, risk management, and safety. With recent success in the manufacturing side, we also want to open up the conversation to manufacturers.

We are excited about the direction of the insurance program as well as the value it has already added and will continue to add for our members. Through HMP, NAXSA wants to provide a resource for you as your company navigates the insurance waters.

We look forward to giving monthly updates on progress of the program as well as feature an educational spotlight on important Insurance topics that are affecting the industry today.
If you have any questions about the program or if you just have a question about your own insurance coverage, give Blake Dickens @ HMP Insurance a call 901-316-1071. 

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NAXSA Reminds you to Dig Safely!

Get Dirty video hosted by Mike Rowe
National Excavator Initiative

Industry News & Resources

Following are links to articles and resources of interest as published by industry trade publications and news media:

Basic Principles of Working Safely in Excavations & Trenches Book CoverBasic Principles of Working Safely in Excavations & Trenches: A How To Manual for Contractors, Utilities, and Municipalities
(by TrenchSafety and Supply, Inc.)



Get Dirty hosted by Mike Rowe
National Excavator Initiative

Industry Experts Discuss Trench Shoring and Shielding
(by UC Staff, Utility Contractor, August 2, 2016)

Selecting the Right Trench Shoring System
(by Giles Lambertson, Utility Contractor, February 18, 2016)

Protect Your Crew with Trench Shoring And Shielding Systems
(by UC Staff, Utility Contractor, February 9, 2015)

Shields Up! Being defensive-minded with trenching and shoring projects 

(by Daniel P. Duffy, Forester Daily News/Grading & Excavation Contractor, April 25, 2018)

Engineering Trench Safety Critical Aspect of Project Success, Costs
(Underground Construction, September 2016)

Safety in the Trenches Access to resources and equipment puts the ball in your court
(by Kim Bernotson, Equipment Today, March 13, 2007)

OSHA to Increase Awareness of Trench-Related Hazards
(by Colin Fluxman, OSHA News/Safety Unlimited News-Service, March 5, 2018)

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Interested in Joining a NAXSA Committee?

NAXSA Calendar

June 17-21, 2019
Trench Safety Stand Down Week

September 25, 2019
CO Trench Safety Summit

October 9, 2019
WA Trench Safety Summit

February 5-7, 2020
NAXSA Annual Convention

February 5, 2020
NAXSA Annual Golf Tournament

Do You Have News?

NAXSA members are invited to submit your project profiles, industry news, press releases, articles, upcoming training dates, and NAXSA committee news for publication in the Excavator.

Deadline for June issue is June 7, 2019.

Email your articles and training dates to communications@naxsa.org

NAXSA reserves the right to edit and/or omit submissions based on appropriate subject matter, duplication, and available space.

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

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