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 OSP
The Partners agree to construct a Partnership based on mutual respect and trust that leverages the resources of the Partners through the systematic anticipation, identification, evaluation, and control of health and safety hazards during electrical construction transmission and distribution work, thereby continuously reducing worker fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the Industry.

Note: 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 expired on September 16, 2010. OSHA and the partnership participants agreed to continue to work together to develop a new partnership renewal agreement.
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) based 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.
2) Develop Best Practices to reduce the number of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses that directly correspond to the identified causes, as well as any other significant hazards identified by the OSP. Through a specific Task Team:

a) Obtain consensus for the Best Practices for each identified cause. These causes will relate to the maintenance, repair, and construction of transmission and distribution systems. (Procedures should be appropriate under both normal and emergency situations.)

b) Share Best Practices among Partners.

c) Develop implementation strategies for each Best Practice. Implementation strategies should include all major milestones, projected timelines, and means of verification.

d) Recognize implementation of Best Practices and post results on a common Partnership website.

e) Evaluate the media utilized by all members to present Best Practices.
Develop metrics related to required work practices, including but not limited to:

i. Number of Best Practices developed.

ii. Number of Best Practices posted on common website or through other electronic tools.

iii. Number of Best Practices effectively implemented by Partners.

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 will 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 programs; and assuring compliance with OSHA standards and regulations for this industry.

The OSHA and ET&D OSP’s Task Teams (Data, Training, Best Practices, and Communication), as well as other OSHA and signatory representatives, will 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 analysis, the OSP Task Teams will make recommendations on and develop products and activities to address the strategies outlined in the table above.

Through the OSHA and ET&D OSP, Executive Committee, Steering Committee, and Task Teams representatives will continue to pursue efforts to promote a safety culture change by placing value on safety and health throughout the ET&D industry.

The OSP participants will continue to share information including Best Practices documents and other OSHA and ET&D OSP successes, through the participants’ website, Powerlinesafety.org.

Strategic Management Plan Target Areas (check one)
X
Construction   Manufacturing Amputations
X
Non-Construction    
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

Evaluation Period
Start Date January 1, 2010 End Date December 31, 2010

Evaluation Contact Person Richard L. Harris

Originating Office



OSHA, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, Office of Partnerships and Recognition, Washington, DC

Partnership Coverage
# Active Employers 6 # Active Employees 23,650
 
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. Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP)- Focused Activities No Yes
f. OSHA Enforcement Inspections No Yes
g. Offsite Verifications No No
h. Onsite Non-Enforcement Interactions No No
i. Participant Self-Inspections No Yes
j. Other Activities No Yes
2a. Training (if performed, provide the following totals)
Training sessions conducted by OSHA staff 0
Training sessions conducted by non-OSHA staff 351
Employees trained 3,070
Training hours provided to employees 15,754
Supervisors/managers trained 706
Training hours provided to supervisors/managers 10,927
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity required but not performed)
The Training Task Team (TT-2) coordinates the training efforts for the OSHA and ET&D 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 provided, and promoting the OSHA and ET&D OSP’s training efforts throughout the industry.

During 2010, the OSP partners continued to conduct the Supervisory Leadership Skills Outreach Training (SLSOT) course. 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 706 supervisors and managers completed this training during this evaluation period.

In addition, 3,070 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.

Further, on April 22, 2010 in Batavia, Illinois, representatives from IBEW, Local 196 conducted a training class on high-voltage line safety in the electrical transmission for twenty-six OSHA Region V Compliance Assistance Specialists (CAS). The training addressed topics including methods to identify proper underground and overhead electrical grounding and other ET&D construction-related hazards.

The OSP partners and OSHA worked on the development of 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 Education Centers. If implemented, this approach would create a nationwide network of training venues for partner and non-partner industry workers. In May 2010, the partners assumed responsibility for continuing to work with the OTI to finalize the training proposal.
2b. Consultation Visits (if performed, provide the following total)
Consultation visits to partner sites 0
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity required 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 required but not performed)
All six OSP participating contractor companies reported that their Safety and Health Management Systems (SHMS) were improved during this evaluation period.

MDU Construction Services Group, Inc. reported that continuous improvement in their company’s SHMS led to improved safety and health awareness and that the enhancement has resulted in fewer injuries experienced by MDU Construction Services Group, Inc. workers. Henkels & McCoy reported that continuous improvement in their company’s SHMS through the company-wide implementation of one hundred percent fall protection requirements on wood poles.

The implementation of Best Practices documents helps the OSP partners to continually improve their SHMS. In addition, the OSP partners continued to 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.

The OSP partners continue to work on a 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 2011.
2d. Technical Assistance (if performed, note type and by whom)
  Provided by
OSHA Staff
Provided by Partners Provided by
Other Party
Conference/Seminar Participation 0 11 1
Interpretation/Explanation of Standards or OSHA Policy 4 4 0
Abatement Assistance 0 1 0
Speeches 0 4 0
Other (please specify) 0 0 0
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity required but not performed)
OSHA and the partners continued their collaboration and outreach activities during the evaluation period.

OSP partners reported their representatives participated in the following training, seminars and conferences:

National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA):

Training Session:

October 1-2, 2010, NECA Annual Convention, OET&D OSHA 10 Hour Outside Safety Training, Boston, MA. A Partner instructor conducted a two day training for 11 contractors, linemen, and instructors.

Conferences/Seminars:

August 2, 2010, National Training Institute (NTI), OSHA and ET&D OSP Best Practices, Ann Arbor, MI. Twenty Joint Apprenticeship and Training directors and instructors attended the annual NTI training conference and learned about the latest training techniques, equipment and safety efforts available through the OSP.

October 2, 2010, NECA Annual Convention, Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Contractor Safety Initiative, Boston, MA. A Partner representative facilitated a panel discussion about EEI efforts through the assistance of the OSP for aligning the safety principles and practices of utilities, contractors and OSHA. Fifteen contractor employees attended.

October 2, 2010, NECA Annual Convention, ET&D Best Practices, Boston, MA. The OSP Task Team 3 Chairman provided a review of the eight best practices for outside line workers and how contractors can implement them in day-to-day operations. Twenty-three contractor and training directors attended.

Henkels & McCoy:

Conferences/Seminars:

October 4-6, 2010, National Safety Congress and Exposition, San Diego, CA

April 4-6, 2010, EEI Spring Safety and Health Committee Meeting, New Orleans, LA. In addition to attending the conference sessions the representatives also participated in and are members of the EEI Industry Practice Task Force and the EEI Contractor Safety Committee.

September 26-29, 2010, EEI Fall Safety and Health Committee Meeting, Orlando, FL.

June 13-15, 2010, American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Safety 2010 Professional Development Conference (PDC) in Baltimore, MD.

October 2, 2010, NECA Annual Convention, Boston, MA. A representative attended and participated in a panel discussion. The 90 minute panel discussion covered Contactor Safety and OSP issues such as Best Practices and 10- and 20- hour training.

Asplundh Tree Expert Company:

Conferences:

January 2010, UtiliCon Solutions, Ltd., Manager’s Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

April 2010, Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Safety Professional Development Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Pike Electric, Inc.:

Speeches:

January 2010, National Safety Council (NSC) – Utilities Division,Orlando, FL.Presented Work Zone Protection–Changes, Update & New Initiative.

March 2010, Duke Energy Transmission Contractor Safety Meeting, Charlotte, NC. Presented Contractor Safety Programs.

May 2010, Incident Prevention Conference, Denver, CO. Presented the workshop, Adapting Safety to a Dynamic Company Culture.

August 23-26, 2010, 26th Annual National VPPPA Conference, Orlando, FL. Presented the workshop, Adapting Safety to a Dynamic Company Culture.

October 4-6, 2010, National Safety Council Conference Congress and Exposition,San Diego, CA. Presented the workshop, Adapting Safety to a Dynamic Company Culture.

Conferences:

September 2010, Carolina Star (VPP) Safety Conference.

October 4-6, 2010, National Safety Council Conference,San Diego, CA.

November 2010, North Carolina Safety Council.

MYR Group, Inc:

Conferences:

January 2010, NSC – Utilities Division.MYR Group, Inc. representatives attended and presented on the OSHA and ET&D OSP.

May 5-6, 2010, Region VIII VPPPA Chapter Conference. MYR Group, Inc. representatives attended.

August 23-26, 2010, 26th Annual National VPPPA Conference, Orlando, FL. L.E. Myers and Sturgeon Electric representatives attended.

OSHA Participation:

During the evaluation period the Executive Team, Steering Team and Task Team 1 met on several occasions. During these meetings, the participating OSHA representative shared expertise on a variety of topics, including OSHA recordkeeping requirements and cooperative programs policy related to the OSP.
2e. VPP-Focused Activities (if performed, provide the following totals)
Partners actively seeking VPP participation in 2010 1
Applications submitted in 2010 1
VPP participants approved in 2010 0
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity required but not performed)
Pike Electric:

Pike Electric received a pre-VPP audit in April of 2010 and submitted their application for approval as a Carolina STAR participant in May 2010. At the time of this evaluation their approval is pending.
2f. OSHA Enforcement Activity (if performed, provide the following totals for any programmed, unprogrammed, and verification-related inspections) **
OSHA enforcement inspections conducted 85
OSHA enforcement inspections in compliance 69
OSHA enforcement inspections with violations cited 16
Number of citations classified as Serious, Repeat, and Willful 15
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity required but not performed)
This section includes information regarding inspections conducted for each of the six signatory construction contractors and their subsidiaries.

During 2010, the OSP participating employers experienced five fatalities: two were related to electrical contact; two fatalities resulted from falls; and one fatality occurred during a helicopter accident while involved in transmission line work. During 2009, the OSP participating employers experienced two fatalities; both related to electrical contact. All workplace fatalities were investigated by OSHA.

Fifteen Serious, Repeat, and Willful violations were issued in 2010. This is a significant, a decrease over the 54 citations of similar classification issued in 2009.

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 and the completion of a data migration project by OSHA. 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 required 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 required 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
17,332
Hazards and/or violations identified and corrected/abated
**
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity required 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 three participants provided information about those results for this evaluation.

Pike Electric (9,218 Self-inspections reported)

Pike Electric reported that the company has completed 9,218 self inspections during the reporting period and that any hazards, if identified, were immediately corrected or abated.

MYR Group, Inc. (137 Self-inspections reported)

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.

Asplundh Tree Expert Company (7,977 Self-inspections reported)

Asplundh Tree Expert Company reported that during 2010, the company conducted 7,977 self inspections; with 348,274 Safe Behaviors identified and 6,225 At-Risk behaviors reviewed.

** The specific numbers of hazards corrected/abated 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)
Other Special Recognition:

David McPeak, a Safety Analyst for OSP participant Pike Electric, Inc., received a Rising Star Safety Award from NSC at the NSC Congress and Exposition, October 2010, in San Diego, CA. The NSC Rising Stars Award was developed to recognize tomorrow’s safety leaders for their efforts in addressing current and future safety challenges.


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 1,357 5.18 840 3.21
2006 55,907,278 1,419 5.08 812 2.90
2007
57,026,819
1,236 4.33 626 2.20
2008 56,474,272 1,142 4.04 511 1.81
2009 44,504,692 658 2.96 313 1.41
2010 42,634,700 676 3.17 310 1.45
Total          
Sites Five-Year Rate (2006-2010) 3.9   2.0
BLS Average for YR: 2010 3.9   1.6
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 rate and fatality information for the participating companies.

OSP Injury and Illness Rate Changes 2009-2010

OSP participating employer participants, as a group, achieved a TCIR of 3.17 in 2010. This figure represents a 7% increase from the 2009 TCIR of 2.96. OSP participating employer participants, as a group, achieved a DART rate of 1.45 in 2010. This figure represents a 2.8% increase from the 2009 DART rate of 1.41. While these are both increases over 2009, the rates are lower than in previous years of the OSP.

Section 4 Partnership Plans, Benefits, and Recommendations

Changes and Challenges (check all applicable)
  Changes Challenges
Management Structure X  
Participants    
Data Collection X  
Employee Involvement   X
OSHA Enforcement Inspections    
Partnership Outreach X  
Training X X
Other (specify)    
Comments
All of the working groups in the partnership experienced change in the number of members on the teams.

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 2011. 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 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.

With respect to employee involvement, the OSP participants have acknowledged that injuries and accidents continue to occur despite their aggressive efforts to reduce or eliminate them. The OSP participants have expressed that enhanced employee awareness to safety may not be sufficient and that greater employee involvement may have a greater impact on reducing injuries and accidents.

The OSP participants improved the OSP’s outreach during the reporting period. The Communications Task Team (Task Team 4) completed its work on a safety video which promotes safe and healthful workplaces for the ET&D industry. The two-minute safety video was made readily available to the ET&D industry on the OSP participants’ website, Powerlinesafety.org, which is hosted by NECA. Further, the OSP participants continue to share information including Best Practices documents and other OSP successes.

The OSP will continue to provide industry-specific training to those OSP participating employers’ workers who have not completed it.
Plans to Improve (check all applicable)
 
Improvements
N/A
Meet more often    
Improve data collection X  
Conduct more training X  
Change goals X  
Comments
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. TT-1 will continue to focus on this goal.

The OSP will continue to provide information on the training provided to managers and staff. For maximum benefit. As this is a continuing challenge, a more effective system for tracking the training statistics will need to be developed and used by the participants.

OSHA and the OSP participants will explore ways to refine the OSP goals, to address new ways to achieve these goals, and to enhance the strategies and measures in the OSP renewal agreement slated to be signed in 2011.
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
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 partners’ willingness to renew the OSP demonstrates their commitment to safety and health for their industry. The OSP encourages OSHA, industry safety professionals, workers and labor representatives to participate in the occupational safety and health process.

The ongoing success 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: January 19, 2010; June 8, 2010 and September 21, 2010. 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 eleven times: January 28, 2010; February 16, 2010; March 16, 2010; April 5, 2010; May 4, 2010; June 4, 2010; July 23, 2010; August 18, 2010; September 21, 2010; November 2, 2010 and December 15, 2010. The four Task Teams, comprised of workers and supervisors, meet as needed to focus on specific OSP activities.

The OSP demonstrates benefits for the participants through a continual decrease in injuries and illnesses. The slight increase in the rates during 2010 may be due in part to the improved data collecting, analysis and reporting efforts of the OSP participants. 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 have been reduced over the six year history of the OSP.
Status Recommendation
Partnership Completed  
Continue/Renew X
Continue with the following provisions:  
Based on the successes of the OSHA and ET&D OSP, the participants intend to sign an OSP renewal agreement in 2011.
Terminate (provide explanation)