Alliance -- An OSHA Cooperative Program << Back to Concluded Regional Alliances - Region V

  1. Alliance Background

    Date Signed: 3/14/2008

    Date Renewed: N/A

    Alliance Overview:

    This Alliance was established to provide the Wisconsin Underground Contractors Association (WUCA) members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect employees' health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to excavation and trenching construction hazards and addressing training issues.

    Implementation Team Members:

    Members of the Implementation Team are; Richard Wanta, Executive Director, WUCA; Dick Lentz, Safety Supervisor, Wisconsin Consultation Program; Chris Zortman, Assistant Area Director; Pat Ostrenga, Compliance Assistant Specialist, and Jim Lutz, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Milwaukee Area Office.

  2. Implementation Team Meetings

    Several safety committee meetings were conducted since the signing of the agreement to establish either activities or Alliance products. Both OSHA and WUCA now participate with the state Chapter of the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) which brings Utilities, Diggers Hotline, Locate Services, Excavators and other interested parties together to discuss safety and health issues.

  3. Activities and Products

    Evaluation Period: The date of the evaluation period includes the time period of March 14, 2008 through April 30, 2009.

    Alliance Activity:

    WUCA sponsored several events during 2008. OSHA participated in these events by presenting information on highlighted cases throughout the state, providing updates on legislative activity, and through publicizing commonly cited violations which initiated discussions on prevention.
    The interactive session conducted by OSHA provided attendees with guidance on establishing both inspection criteria, and an effective safety and health management process. Utilizing this format, each of the Alliance goals including Training and Education, Outreach and Communication, and Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health was successfully achieved.

    Alliance Products:

    In December of 2008, OSHA provided WUCA members with an informational session on the excavation process which included a focus on "White Lining" excavations. The concept of "White Lining" emphasizes the best practice of identifying areas to be excavated to the locate services. PowerPoint slides developed by the Milwaukee Area Office and incorporated into the presentation included specific practices excavator could take to identify proposed excavations. The session also included information on the services of Diggers Hotline as well as frequently cited violations, multi-employer sites, and other issues discussed by WUCA members.

    The presentation was conducted during an association meeting for a variety of members.

    The Milwaukee Area Office also developed a DVD of the material presented during the December meeting which was shown at 58 locations throughout the state. The meetings held around the state were attended by over 5000 individuals who work in the excavation field.

    The team has agreed to develop a quick card which will provide information to excavators on what to do when unidentified utilities are struck. Also participating in the development of the card will be members of the local Common Ground Alliance (CGA) Chapter and the Wisconsin Damage Prevention Council.

    Working in cooperation, and delivering the desired information, members of the Alliance were able to achieve the three goals established for the Alliance. This information was shared, not only by safety and health professionals within the industry, but with business owners, safety equipment vendors, insurance representatives, and even though not targeted, the sessions around the state included public sector employees as well.

  4. Results

    1. Impact

      The impact of the Alliance during the reporting period was that as anticipated, considering activities of the Wisconsin Underground Contractors Association and size of the membership. Future expansion of this Alliance is anticipated.
    2. Activities and Numbers of Individuals Reached or Trained
      Type of Activity
      (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.)
      Number of Individuals Reached or Trained
      Quarterly WUCA Safety Committee Meetings 300
      Excavator Safety Meetings 5000
      TOTAL 5300

  5. Upcoming Milestones

    The Alliance Implementation Team has discussed, as noted, the development of a quick card for excavators to use for utility strikes. Other issues discussed include conducting Hispanic outreach (OSHA 10 Hour) for construction. A planning session will be conducted for the 10 Hour Course and to discuss the quick card as well as further activities.

    Report Prepared by: Jim Lutz, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Milwaukee Area Office.

    For more information, contact the Office of Outreach Services and Alliances at 202-693-2340 or go to OSHA's Website.