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OSHA Strategic Partnership Program (OSPP)
Annual Partnership Evaluation Report
Calendar Year 2013
January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013

OSP #325

 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), and Trade Associations (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 was renewed on January 25, 2011 and again on December 19, 2013.

 Goals of OSP

These tables are best viewed on tablets, notebooks, or desktop computer screens.

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).
  1. 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.
  2. Continue to analyze data from Industry Partner fatalities and catastrophes as outlined by the OSHA Form-170s.
  3. Analyze accident, incident data using partner OSHA Form 300 to identify common causes for non-fatal injuries, and illnesses suffered by linemen, apprentices, and other appropriate job classifications.
  4. Assign priorities to address the causal factors. The causal factors will be assigned to specific Task Teams to develop strategies for addressing these causes, including:
    • Consensus best practices
    • Training
    • Outreach and communication
  1. Annual DART rate and TCIR for Industry Partners compared to published BLS averages for the industry.
  2. Summary report of industry fatality and catastrophe data maintained by the Industry Partners.
  3. Summary report of accidents and incidents, including causal factors using data analysis from Industry Partner OSHA Form 300 data
  4. Summary report of priority causal factors and Task Team assignments.
  1. Develop Best Practices documents to reduce the number of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses that directly correspond to causes identified under Goal 1, and any other significant hazards identified by the Industry Partners.
  1. Develop consensus industry Best Practices documents for identified accident causes as prioritized by the Steering Team. 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).
  2. Develop implementation strategies for each Best Practice document and share with OSHA. Implementation strategies should include all major milestones, projected timelines, and means of verification.
  1. Number and focus of consensus Best Practices documents developed.
  2. Number and focus of Best Practices documents effectively implemented by Industry Partners.
  1. Ensure that the Partners' employees are effectively trained to follow safety and health rules, to utilize the established best practices, and to change safety culture. Training such as the Industry Specific 10-Hour Training and the Supervisory and Leadership Skills Outreach Training (SLSOT) courses.
  1. Continue to develop, update and/or conduct for foremen, general foremen, supervisors, linemen and apprentices based on Goal 1 and Goal 2. All training developed by the Partnership will be assigned a course title and will be reported to OSHA
  2. Develop a procedure for the uniform evaluation and documentation of training (i.e. database system) of foremen, general foremen, supervisors, linemen and apprentices.
  3. Create re-training/refresher process for linemen, apprentices, foremen, general foremen, and supervisors. This process should identify changes in technology, industry practices, best practices, technical standards, and other information relevant to the training programs.
  4. Develop a process for Partners to mitigate safety procedure violations that could result in incidents or accidents.
  1. Summary report including the number and percentage of foremen, general foremen, supervisors, linemen and apprentices receiving the Industry Specific Training and SLSOT courses.
  2. Implementation of a training tracking system.
  3. Establish new retraining/refresher training process for linemen, apprentices, foremen, general foremen, and supervisors.
  4. Annual report of processes developed by Industry Partners designed to mitigate safety procedure violations that could result in incidents or accidents.
  1. Effectively communicate information to improve the safety and health culture within the electrical transmission and distribution industry.
  1. Make Best Practices available to the public.
  2. Promote the value of a positive safety and health culture to the industry.
  3. Share information with OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) regarding the electric transmission and distribution industry.
  1. Number of consensus best practices posted on common Web Site or through other electronic tools; number of database/Web visits to centralized best practices site.
  2. Number of outreach products for each of the following:
    • Videos
    • Publications
    • Workshops

 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, the partners will continue to pursue efforts to promote a safety culture change by placing value on safety and health throughout the ET&D industry. The partners will continue to share information including Best Practices documents and other OSHA and ET&D OSP successes, through the participant website http://www.neca-neis.org/powerlinesafety/.

 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

 Date of Evaluation Report

March 20, 2015

 

 Evaluation Period

Start Date

January 1, 2013

End Date

December 31, 2013

 Evaluation Contact Person

Jacqueline R. Annis

 

 Originating Office

OSHA National Office – Washington DC

 Partnership Coverage

# Active Contractors 10 # Active Employees  

 Industry Coverage (note range or specific SIC and NAICS for each partner)

Partners SIC NAICS
Asplundh Tree Expert Company 1623 237130
Davis H. Elliott 1623 237130
Henkels & McCoy, Inc. 1623 237130
MasTec, Inc. 1623 237130
MDU Construction Services Group, Inc. 1623 237130
Michels Corporation 1623 237130
MYR Group, Inc. 1623 237130
Pike Electric, LLC 1623 237130
PLH Group, Inc. 1623 237130
Quanta Services, Inc. 1623 237130

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Edison Electrical Institute (EEI) are also signatory to the OSP but do not perform ET&D line work.

Introduction

The partnership evaluation summary below is a departure from the one traditionally used for OSP evaluations. A majority of this partnership's activities during CY 2013 were devoted to renewing the national strategic partnership. As a result, OSHA decided to provide the evaluation in a format that would best provide information about the partners' efforts to achieve the established goals of the partnership while working through the renewal period.

The success of the OSHA and ET&D OSP is due, in part, to its structure. The OSP's Executive Team, made up of CEO-level management that approves OSP activities and products and manages overall OSP implementation. The OSP's Steering Team, made up of employer participants' safety and health managers, manages the 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 four Task Teams: Data, Training, Best Practices, and Communication. The Task Teams are working groups assigned to analyze data, conduct research and apply the strategies to meet the OSP goals.

The information below is presented in sections detailing the activities performed by the partners. This information was gleaned from the information provided by each Task Team during CY 2013.

Partnership Results

Injury and Illness Rates

These tables are best viewed on tablets, notebooks, or desktop computer screens.

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
2011 52,146,134 673 2.58 364 1.40
2012 64,344,895 832 2.59 445 1.38
2013 69,561,958 763 2.19 401 1.15
OSP's Five-Year Rate (2009-2013) 2.70   1.36
BLS Average for YR: 2013 2.9   1.7
NAICS: 2371XX**      

**Historically the NAICS code applied to the ET&D industry has been 237130. When BLS released the 2013 Injury and Illness data, the 237130 NAICS code was no longer listed in the rates table. According to BLS there were not enough submissions for 2013 under that NAICS code. Consequently, for CY 2013 the ET&D Industry will use the NAICS code of 2371XX for Utility System Construction.

As reflected by the table above, the partnership continues to reduce its collective injury and illness rates. Additionally, the rates continue to be below the injury and illness rates as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Partnership Activities for CY 2013

All of the partners actively deliberated, met about, and drafted the renewal partnership agreement document. The focus on the renewal was intensive and took a lot of the partners' resources throughout the year. A five year partnership renewal agreement was signed in a ceremony at OSHA's National Office on December 19, 2013. Secretary of Labor Perez and Assistant Secretary for OSHA David Michaels attended and provided comments at the ceremony.

As the partnership has seen a decade of improvements in worker safety and health, necessary changes were made in the renewal agreement. Primarily, new strategies were added that will enhance the ability of the partnership to better identify the effectiveness of best practice dissemination and use by workers; explore creating a reporting system to capture near misses in the field; and expand the scope of worker training to include information and training for OSHA filed personnel about power restoration or "storm" work.

While deliberating changes and updates to the partnership agreement the Executive and Steering Teams met on a regular basis, received updates from the task teams, and voted made consensus decisions about partnership matters.

During 2013 the Partnership also:

  • In January, granted the NJATC allowance to use partnership information, power point presentations, Best Practice documents and information on training courses.
  • In May, charged each Task Team to look at their individual team functions in relation to their objectives and activities moving forward into the renewal.

Task Team 1 (Data)

During 2013, Task Team 1:

  • Provided a draft perception survey to the Executive and Steering Teams at their January 2013 meeting. The use of a perception survey has been discussed to determine the reach of partnership awareness and understanding in the partner companies. The work to bring this project to fruition will continue during the partnership renewal period.
  • Collected and analyzed partnership fatality and OSHA 300 injury and illness data. The following summary was excerpted from the Task Team 1 report provided to the partnership Executive and Steering Teams.

    Introduction

    Annually, each Partner submits OSHA 300 log data to be analyzed by Task Team 1. This submission includes baseline data used to track and trend performance. Protocol for data submission is: 1) data is submitted by each Partner after their 300A summaries have been prepared and before mid-February; 2) Partner information is redacted so no individual Partner rates or injuries can be identified; and 3) the data is compiled for analysis.

    Task Team 1 compiles the annual baseline spreadsheet and then discusses the data focusing on year over year trends, potential impact of Partnership changes and Partnership rates compared with applicable Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) rates.

    Within the last two years Task Team 1 has been collecting and analyzing the partners OSHA 300 data. The partners agree that this is a crucial step in moving toward the identification and analysis of leading indicators for injuries and illnesses.

    Partnership Injury and Illness Rate Performance

    There was a dramatic reduction in the number of Partner fatalities from seven in 2012 to one in 2013.

    Rates in every baseline category (OSHA Recordable, Lost Workday, DART, and Fatality) tracked by the Partnership improved year over year from 2012 to 2013.

    Partner rates remain below BLS rates and continue improving at approximately the same percentage as BLS rates.

    Partners reported roughly 5,000,000 more man hours in 2013 than 2012. Even with additional man hours, the number of cases in each category tracked by the Partnership decreased with the exception of lost workday cases.

    CY 2013 OSHA 300 Data Analysis and Conclusions

    Injuries to workers fingers and hands accounted for over 22 percent of the injuries analyzed (higher than in 2012). Lower back, knees, and shoulders also had a significant number of injuries. Most of the lower back, knee, and shoulder injuries were sprains or strains while most of the finger and hand injuries were lacerations or fractures. As reported by the BLS hand and finger injuries are second only to back strains and sprains in lost work days. Of the 173 finger and hand injuries recorded by the partners in 2013:

    • Roughly 49% (56) were Caught Between injuries.
    • Roughly 50% (58) were Cuts/Puncture injuries.

    While the cost of finger and hand injuries is typically minimal, the frequency and severity is cause for concern. In 2013 Task Team 1 recommended the Steering Team assign Task Team 2 develop a Hand Safety training program focusing on hand placement, use of PPE, proper tools, line of fire and work methods.

    Aside from fingers and hands, the most frequent injuries were related to musculoskeletal disorders to backs, knees, and shoulders. Task Team 1 recommended the Partnership continue monitoring this injury category but believes a program to eliminate these injuries would be costly, time consuming, and likely ineffective without additional data collection and further trend analysis. Task Team 1 will continue to review the occurrences of MSDs by partner workers and will make recommendations for program focus when sufficient data is collected to perform trend analysis.

    In 2013 falls were the third most recorded incident and remain an area of concern. Task Team 1 continues to recommend the Steering Committee assign Task Team 2 develop training on three points of contact and work methods associated with Access to / Egress from equipment. Partnership's efforts relating to falls in the past focused on fall protection when climbing poles or structures. Due to their potential serious or fatal nature, those still deserve consideration. However, 2013 data and analysis suggests the Partnership shift its focus from falls from heights to falls on ground level and falls from equipment. The 2013 data indicate that falls from walking on ground level, and falls related to access/egress from vehicles increased by 67 percent. While totals having decrease in 2013, falls are still a major area of concern and the Partnership is committed to continue to focus on these types of injuries.

Task Team 2 (Training)

During 2013 the team:

  • Focused much of their efforts in planning for the instruction of Train-the-Trainer Classes for the OSP-developed OSHA 10 and 20 (SLSOT) courses. Course dates were planned for May and August of 2013. Providing these courses helped identify instructors to participate in the OSHA-10 Hour Training Pilot for the OSHA Education Centers. The terms of this pilot are still being worked out between the partners and the OSHA Training Institute
  • Worked to develop a six to seven hour refresher course for the OSHA-10 Hour and
  • Discussed the possibility of developing the partnership training courses in other languages

Task Team 3 (Best Practices)

During 2013 the team:

  • Submitted draft Insulate and Isolate Best Practice documents for review and adoption; one for Live Line Tool Method in Distribution and the other for Use of Rubber Gloves
  • Began researching and drafting a Grounding Best Practice document.

Task Team 4 (Communication)

During 2013 the team:

  • Developed and facilitated the publication of a partnership article in the magazine, T&D World. The article reviews the structure, function, and successes of the partnership. The article will be posted on the partnership public web page
  • Updated the Partnership video to include most recent members' logos. The video cannot include any additional logos because the signature containing the logos is full; and the Team began discussing the possibilities of developing another promotional/marketing video moving forward
  • Continued working with legal counsel toward copyrighting the training material for the ETD OSHA 10 and 20-hour training programs
  • Drafted a prototype for a partnership brochure and began providing input and comments toward publication

Conclusion

In 2013 the partnership continued their work to develop innovative best practices, industry-specific training materials and to analyze fatality, injury and illness data. Activities are implemented that will provide protection to the partners employees and may be used in the future to impact the safety and health of the ET&D industry.

The injury and illness rates of the partners continue their near, linear decline; efforts are being made to extend the reach of ET&D training courses in languages other than English; best practices continue to be developed based on the hazards to which these workers are exposed on a regular basis; and the successes of the partnership are being highlighted in industry publications.

The primary result of the partnerships' dedication and work in 2013 was the development and signing of a five year renewal to the partnership. The will find new ways to expand and track their training and use of best practices; and continue moving towards the collection and use of leading indicators as an improvement to their safety culture. These efforts will take their companies and the industry into the next decade of improving the working conditions and safety of their workers.

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