OSHA Strategic Partnership Program<< Back to Annual Evaluations


OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) Name
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Strategic Partnership (OSP) with the Electrical Transmission and Distribution (ET&D) Construction Contractors, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), and the Edison Electrical Institute (EEI) (OSHA and ET&D OSP)
 
Purpose of Partnership
Overview: The OSHA and ET&D OSP was originally signed on August 20, 2004. The OSP was renewed on August 24, 2006 and again on September 16, 2008. The current agreement is in effect until September 16, 2010.

OSP Structure: The OSP’s Executive Team, made up of CEO-level management, meets approximately three to four times per year to review progress and determine next steps. The OSP’s Steering Team, made up of corporate safety and health managers, meets approximately every four to six weeks and manages day-to-day operations of the OSP and serves as the liaison between the Executive Team and the Task Teams. Task Teams are groups of employees and supervisors who meet as needed to focus on specific OSP topics. There are currently four Task Teams: Data, Training, Best Practices, and Communication. There is also OSHA representation on all of the OSP’s Executive, Steering and four Task Teams.
Goals of Partnership
Goal Strategy Measure
1) Perform data analysis as a means to establish causes of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses for electrical work in the Industry (Data for work performed under both normal and emergency situations will be included). Through the Task Teams:

a) Obtain industry-specific Days Away from Work, Restricted Work Activity, or Job Transfer (DART) rates and Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) base on partner recordable injuries and illnesses per man hours worked annually.

b) Develop a concise database of accidents and incidents involving fatalities and serious injuries.

c) Analyze accident and incident data to identify common causes for fatalities, injuries, and illnesses suffered by linemen, apprentices, and other appropriate job classifications (The Steering Team will determine the manner in which data will be collected and reported).

Through the Steering Team:

a) Identify and prioritize the target areas that cause serious injuries and fatalities. Areas covered may include PPE requirements, approach distances, and grounding. The designated areas will be assigned to specific Task Teams to develop strategies for addressing these causes, including:
  • Consensus Best Practices
  • Training
  • Outreach and Communication
Develop Metrics, including but not limited to:

i. Baseline DART and TCIR rates for partners compared to published BLS averages for the industry, and any other metrics identified by the Steering Team.
3) Ensure that the Industry Partners’ workers are effectively trained to utilize the established Best Practices including:
  • Minimum qualifications for Transmission and Distribution (T&D) construction linemen;
  • Standards for quality and consistency of training for
    Apprentices and In service training for lineworkers;
  • Minimum skill set qualifications for T&D construction foremen, general foremen, and supervisors;
Through a specific Task Team (in addition to training required pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act):

a) Identify training criteria for foremen, general foremen, and supervisors, including training to promote industry culture change to place value on safety and health.

b) Identify training criteria for linemen, including training to promote industry culture change to place value on safety and health.

c) Identify training culture for apprentices, including training to promote culture change to place value on safety and health.

d) Develop a procedure for
uniform evaluation and communication of skill levels (i.e. SmartCard or like database system).

e) Develop a procedure for certification or documentation of training prior to starting a new or changed job with participants.

f) Develop a means for partners to address repeated failures to follow training and violations of safety procedures.
Develop metrics related to required training/re-training and refresher training requirements, including but not limited to:

i. Number or percentage of supervisors receiving the minimum training and/or re-training.

ii. Number or percentage of linemen receiving the minimum training and/or retraining.

iii. Number or percentage of apprentices receiving the minimum training and/or retraining.

iv. Number or percentage of linemen and supervisors receiving certification, when developed.

v. Number or percentage of employees who have successfully mastered skills and procedures established in Best Practices.
4) Retraining/refresher training of linemen, foremen, general foremen, and supervisors. a) Create re-training/refresher standards for linemen, apprentices, foremen, general foremen, supervisors, and any other relevant job classification.  
Anticipated Outcomes
OSHA and the OSP participants continue to collaborate to provide safe and healthful work environments for workers and contractors involved in the ET&D industry by working toward prevention and elimination of serious accidents, injuries and fatalities through increased supervisor, foremen/general foremen training; development and implementation of best practices; enhancement of safety and health management systems; and assuring compliance with OSHA standards and regulations for this industry.

The OSP’s Task Teams (Data, Training, Best Practices, and Communication), as well as other OSHA and the signatory representatives analyze partner company and industry accident and incident data to identify common causes for fatalities, injuries, and illnesses experienced by linemen, apprentices, and other appropriate job classifications. Based on this review, the OSP Task Teams make recommendations on and develop products and activities to address the strategies outlined in the table above.

The ET&D OSP has been successful in reducing partner industry fatalities and injury/illness rates and that trend is expected to continue downward. In order to further efforts to reduce incidents in the industry, OSHA and the partners developed an OSHA Form 170 supplemental document in 2009. This supplemental document contained additional questions that OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) could use during fatality investigations. These questions were intended to collect more detailed information regarding the accident. In 2009, OSHA’s representative on the OSP Executive Team disseminated the Form 170 supplemental document to OSHA Regional offices as an additional resource for CSHOs to consider using during accident investigations related to line work.

The OSP participants will use the information obtained from this form to support meeting the OSP’s goal of collecting more substantive fatality and serious accident data for use in analysis and identification of areas to develop and disseminate best practices documents. Through the safety awareness raised by the implementation of the Best Practices documents and industry-specific training courses, OSHA anticipates continued improvement in the key indicators, i.e. injury, illness and fatality data.

In addition, through the OSP, Executive Committee, Steering Committee and Task Teams members continue to pursue efforts to promote a safety culture change by placing value on safety and health throughout the ET&D industry. Further, the OSP participants continue to share information including Best Practices documents and other OSP successes through the OSP participants’ website, Powerlinesafety.org.

The 2009 results of the OSHA and ET&D OSP are reflected in this evaluation document.
 
Strategic Management Plan Target Areas (check one)
Construction X Manufacturing Amputations  
Non-Construction X    
Strategic Management Plan Areas of Emphasis (check all applicable)
Amputations in Construction   Oil and Gas Field Services  
Blast Furnaces and Basic Steel Products   Preserve Fruits and Vegetables  
Blood Lead Levels   Public Warehousing and Storage  
Concrete, Gypsum and Plaster Products   Ship/Boat Building and Repair  
Ergo/Musculoskeletal   Silica-Related Disease  
Landscaping/Horticultural Services      


Section 1 - General Partnership Information
 
Date of Evaluation Report September 20, 2010
Evaluation Period:
Start Date January 1, 2009 End Date December 31, 2009
Evaluation OSHA Contact Person Richard L. Harris
Originating Office OSHA National Office – Washington DC
 
Partnership Coverage
# Active Employers 6 # Active Employees 19,833
 
Industry Coverage (note range or specific SIC and NAICS for each partner)
Partner SIC NAICS
Asplundh Tree Expert Company 1623 237130
Henkels & McCoy, Inc. 1623 237130
MDU Construction Services Group, Inc. 1623 237130
MYR Group, Inc. 1623 237130
Pike Electric, Inc. 1623 237130
Quanta Services, Inc. 1623 237130


Section 2 - Activities Performed
 
Note whether an activity was required by the OSP and whether it was performed
Required Performed
a. Training Yes Yes
b. Consultation Visits No No
c. Safety and Health Management Systems Reviewed/Developed Yes Yes
d. Technical Assistance Yes Yes
e. VPP-Focused Activities No Yes
f. OSHA Enforcement Inspection No Yes
g. Offsite Verifications No No
h. Onsite Non-Enforcement Interactions No No
i. Participant Self-Inspections No Yes
j. Other Activities No No
 
2a. Training (if performed, provide the following totals)
Training sessions conducted by OSHA staff 0
Training sessions conducted by non-OSHA staff 528
Employees trained 4,393
Training hours provided to employees 134,719
Supervisors/managers trained 1,173
Training hours provided to supervisors/managers 23,726
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity required but not performed)
Task Team II coordinates all of the training efforts for the OSP. Some of the duties of this Task Team include: developing training courses as needed to address the identified causal factors of accidents; tracking the training courses and promoting the OSP’s training efforts throughout the industry.

During 2009, the OSP partners continued to conduct the Supervisory Leadership Skills Outreach Training Course (SLSOT). This course is designed to help foremen/general foremen create a safe work culture on the job and course attendees receive an OSHA training card upon successfully completing the course. A total of 1,173 supervisors and managers completed this training during this evaluation period.

In addition, 4,393 workers successfully completed the ET&D industry-specific OSHA 10-Hour Outreach Training Program course during this evaluation period. This number includes apprentices, journeymen, and foremen/general foremen. At the time this evaluation was written, the OSP partners had not provided the exact number of times that this course was taught during the year.

The OSP partners and OSHA are also developing a proposal to conduct the ET&D industry-specific OSHA 10-Hour Outreach Training Program and ET&D Train the Trainer courses through OSHA’s twenty-five Training and Education Centers. If implemented, this approach would create a nationwide network of training venues for partner and non-partner workers.
 
2b. Consultation Visits (if performed, provide the following total)
Consultation visits to partner sites 0
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
The OSP does not track this information.
 
2c. Safety and Health Management Systems (if performed, provide the following total)
Number of systems implemented or improved using the OSHA’s 1989 Guidelines for Safety and Health Management Programs as a model 6
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
All six OSP participating companies reported that their Safety and Health Management Systems (SHMS) were improved during this evaluation period.

The implementation of Best Practices documents helps the OSP partners to continually improve their SHMS. In addition, the OSP partners conducted a review of the scope of their implementation of Best Practices documents during this evaluation period. Results from this analysis were used to enhance their SHMS.

For example, Pike Electric, Inc. reported that as a result of its review of Best Practices document implementation, the company was able to enhance the following components of its SHMS: Enhanced Safety and Training Audit Program; Hazard Recognition; Stay Safe Program; Safety and Work Methods Manual Revision; VOLTAGE Program and Skills Assessments.

The OSP partners are also developing a new Best Practices document, “Safety at Heights - Fall Protection on Wood Poles” to reduce or eliminate injuries and fatalities caused by fall hazards on wood poles and other structures. It is anticipated that the “Safety at Heights - Fall Protection on Wood Poles” Best Practices document will be completed and possibly implemented during 2010.
 
2d. Technical Assistance (if performed, note type and by whom)
Provided by OSHA Staff Provided by Partners Provided by Other Party
Conference/Seminar Participation 1 5
Interpretation/Explanation of Standards or OSHA Policy
Abatement Assistance
Speeches 2 3
Other (please specify)
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
OSHA and the partners continued their collaboration and outreach activities during the evaluation period. OSHA participated in the following events:
  • On April 21, 2009, OSHA gave a presentation to approximately sixty attendees at the Edison Electrical Institute (EEI) Spring Occupational Safety and Health Committee Conference, held April 21-24, 2009 in Alexandria, Virginia.
  • On August 12, 2009, OSHA attended the Safety Council of the Louisiana Capital Area Conference, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Future activities between the OSP and the Safety Council were explored during this conference.
  • On September 14, 2009, OSHA gave a presentation to the OSP Executive Team in Seattle, Washington.
Five of the OSP partners reported their representatives participated in the following seminars and conferences during the evaluation period:
  • Henkels & McCoy:
    • On November 6, 2009, Henkels & McCoy representative provided an overview of the OSHA and ET&D Partnership and its achievements at the EEI Contractor Safety Summit.
  • MDU:
    • On September 14, 2009, MDU representatives attended the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Convention.
    • On November 6, 2009, MDU representatives attended the EEI Contractor Safety Summit.
  • MYR:
    • MYR representatives attended the VPP Participants’ Association (VPPPA) Region IV Chapter Conference April 6-10, 2009.
    • LE Myers representatives attended the Annual National VPPPA Conference August 23-27, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas.
      MYR Group, Inc. representatives attended and made a presentation on the OSHA and ET&D Partnership during the National Safety Council Utilities and Construction Division meeting,
  • Pike Electric:
    • Pike Electric representatives attended National Safety Congress and Expo, October 23-30, 2009.
    • In December 2009, Pike Electric representatives attended an ORC Recordkeeping Consultation meeting.
    • In January 2009, Pike Electric representatives attended the Incident Prevention Safety Conference.
    • Pike Electric representatives attended the EEI Contractor Safety Summit April 22-23, 2009
    • On November 4, 2009, Pike Electric representatives attended a National Work Zone Safety Stand Down.
    • In September 2009, Pike Electric Management attended an OSHA Region IV Meeting.
  • Quanta Services:
    • Quanta Services representatives attended National Construction Safety Executives Meetings April 22-23, 2009 and October 6-7, 2009.

2e. VPP-Focused Activities (if performed, provide the following total)
Partners actively seeking VPP participation in 2009 2
Applications submitted in 2009 0
VPP participants approved in 2009 0
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
While no OSP participant employers submitted applications to participate in VPP during the evaluation period, the three MYR Group, Inc. subsidiaries continue to be recognized as Star participants in the VPP Mobile Workforce for Construction Program.

In addition, two OSP participants actively sought VPP participation during this evaluation period. Pike Electric was pursuing recognition in the North Carolina Star Program and LE Meyers was pursuing VPP recognition in OSHA Region IV.

Further, one MYR Group, Inc. employee successfully completed the VPP Special Government Employee (SGE) qualifications in 2009.The SGE Program allows industry to work alongside OSHA during VPP onsite evaluations.
 
2f. OSHA Enforcement Activity (if performed, provide the following totals for any programmed, unprogrammed, and verification-related inspections)
OSHA enforcement inspections conducted 110
OSHA enforcement inspections in compliance 78
OSHA enforcement inspection with violations cited 32
Number of citations classified as Serious, Repeat, and Willful 54*
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
This section includes information regarding inspections conducted for each of the six signatory construction contractors and their subsidiaries.
- During 2009, the OSP participating employers experienced 2 fatalities; those accidents were related to electrical contact and were investigated by OSHA.
- The average number of Serious, Repeat, and Willful violations per inspection in 2009 was 0.49, an increase when compared to the average of 0.17 in 2008.
- The OSP is reviewing accident causal factors, developing a new best practices document for implementation, and discussing ways to expand training to address issues identified during enforcement inspections.

* This data is preliminary as some of the citation/violation numbers and classifications may change due to casefile settlement. Data related to open inspections is not publicly releasable.
 
2g. Offsite Verification (if performed provide the following total)
Offsite verifications performed 0
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
Offsite Verifications are not required by the OSP.

2h. Onsite Non-Enforcement Verification (if performed, provide the following total)
Onsite non-enforcement verifications performed 0
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
Onsite Non-Enforcement Verifications are not required by the OSP.
 
2i. Participant Self-Inspections (if performed provide the following totals)
Self-inspections performed 115
Hazards and/or violations identified and corrected/abated **
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
While the OSP does not require the participants to conduct self inspections at their worksites, OSP participating companies do conduct self-inspections and one provided information about its results for this evaluation.

MYR Group reported the following activities:
∙ The ET&D Best Practice Performance Evaluation Observation Form was used within all MYR Group, Inc. subsidiaries to evaluate the effectiveness of MYR Best Practice implementation. The initial phase of implementation involved training/coaching/mentoring management, supervision and field personnel on all criteria of the ET&D Best Practices.
∙ All personnel demonstrate positive performance of the ET&D Best Practices based on current employer field observations.

** The specific numbers of hazards corrected as a result of OSP participating employer work site self-inspections are not required to be tracked by the OSP. The partners have agreed to correct all serious hazards observed during any routine site audits.

2j. Other Activities (briefly describe other activities performed)
The Chair of the ET&D OSP Best Practices Task Team met with IBEW District management in 2009 to discuss the OSP’s activities and to address questions regarding the OSP and the Best Practices documents being developed.


Section 3 - Illness and Injury Information

Year Hours Total Cases TCIR # of Days Away from Work Restricted and Transferred Activity Cases DART
2005 52,395,866 1,347 5.18 840 3.21
2006 55,907,278 1,419 5.08 812 2.90
2007 57,026,819 1,235 4.33 626 2.20
2008 56,474,272 1,142 4.04 511 1.81
2009 44,504,692 656 2.95 315 1.42
Total
Sites Five-Year Rate (2005-2009) 4.3 2.3
BLS Average for YR: 2008 4.0 2.2
SIC:1623 NAICS:237130

Comments
The Data Task Team (Task Team I) reviewed all industry fatality information and updated the baseline data accordingly. Task Team I also compiled TCIR, DART and fatality information for the participating companies.

OSP Injury and Illness Rate Changes 2008-2009

OSP participating employer participants, as a group, achieved a TCIR of 2.95 in 2009. This figure represents a 27 percent decrease from its 2008 TCIR of 4.04. OSP participating employer participants, as a group, achieved a DART rate of 1.42 in 2009. This figure represents a 22 percent decrease from its 2008 DART rate of 1.81.

OSP Injury and Illness Rate Changes 2005-2009

OSP participants, as a group, have also reduced their average injury and illness rates when comparing rates from 2005 to 2009. In 2009, the OSP participant’s average TCIR of 2.95 was 57 percent below that of the OSP average TCIR of 5.18 in 2005. Similarly, in 2009, the OSP participant’s average DART rate of 1.42 was 56 percent below that of the OSP average DART rate of 3.21 in 2005. Compared to the TCIR and DART rates calculated for this industry by the BLS for 2008, the OSP rates were almost equivalent to the BLS averages.

 
Section 4 - Partnership Plans, Benefits, and Recommendations
 
Changes and Challenges (check all applicable)
  Changes Challenges
Management Structure    
Participants    
Data Collection X  
Employee Involvement    
OSHA Enforcement Inspections    
Partnership Outreach    
Training X  
Other (specify)    
Comments
New data sources will be utilized to collect injury and illness information for analysis. The OSP plans to collect and analyze partner-specific OSHA 300 log data in the upcoming year. This will allow the OSP to identify causal factors of non-fatal injuries and illnesses and develop new, or apply the use of existing, Best Practices documents to address these incidents.

The OSP will continue to provide industry-specific training to those OSP participating employers’ workers who have not completed it.

The OSP needs to improve the data collection and tracking processes for training activities. Improved tracking of students who have completed the ET&D industry-specific OSHA 10 Hour Outreach Training Program Line Construction course and the SLSOT course will help to eliminate the duplication of training provided.

In addition, the OSP participants did not pursue meeting the OSP agreement strategy to “Develop a procedure for uniform evaluation and communication of skill levels (i.e. SmartCard or like database system)”.
 
Plans to Improve (check all applicable)  
  Improvements N/A
Meet more often    
Improve data collection X  
Conduct more training X  
Change goals    
Comments  
The OSP will continue to analyze available data on fatal accidents provided by OSHA in the form of OSHA Form 170 data. The OSP plans to begin using OSHA 300 data provided by each of the partners to better identify hazards causing non-fatal, lost time injuries and illnesses.

In addition, the OSP will continue to provide information on the training provided to managers and staff. For maximum benefit, a more effective system for tracking the training statistics will need to be developed and used by the participants.

The OSP participants decided to no longer pursue developing a procedure for uniform evaluation and communication of skill levels (i.e. SmartCard or like database system) through the OSP and as a result this strategy will not been included in the draft OSP renewal agreement.
 
Partnership Benefits (check all applicable)
Increased safety and health awareness X
Improved relationship with OSHA X
Improved relationship with employers X
Improved relationship with employees or unions X
Increased number of participants
Other (specify)
Comments
Through the OSHA and ET&D OSP, OSHA staff and the participants continued to build on the excellent working relationship since the initial OSP was signed in 2004. Communication between the industry partners and OSHA demonstrates commitment to the OSP and raised safety and health awareness for the ET&D industry.

The OSP encourages OSHA, industry safety professionals, workers and labor representatives to participate in the occupational safety and health process. For example, an MYR representative reported that the company’s workers are becoming more aware of the OSHA and ET&D OSP and its efforts to improve worker safety and health established by implementing the agreement.

In addition, one of the successes of the OSP is due, in part, to its unique management structure. The OSP’s Executive Team, made up of CEO-level management, meets approximately three to four times per year to approve OSP activities and products and to manage overall OSP implementation. During this evaluation period the Executive Team met three times; on January 20, 2009; May 21, 2009; and September 15, 2009.

The OSP’s Steering Team, made up of employer participants’ safety and health managers, meets approximately every four to six weeks, manages day-to-day operations of the OSP and serves as the liaison between the Executive Team and the Task Teams. During this evaluation period the Steering Team met nine times; on January 19, 2009; March 16, 2009; April 13, 2009; May 20, 2009; June 18, 2009; August 4, 2009; September 14, 2009; October 27, 2009 and December 12, 2009.

Task Teams are groups of workers and supervisors who meet as needed to focus on specific OSP activities.

The OSP demonstrates benefits for the participants through a continual decrease in fatalities. By working on common goals, analyzing accident and injury data for causal factors and implementing best practices, the OSP participating employers’ injury and illness rates also have been reduced.
 
Status Recommendation
Partnership Completed  
Continue/Renew X
Continue with the following provisions:  
Based on the successes of the OSHA and ET&D OSP, the group will develop a renewal OSP agreement in 2010.
Terminate (provide explanation)