Partnership #325 - Agreement - August 20, 2004



The partners to this Agreement include:

  • Henkels & McCoy, Inc., MYR Group, Inc., Pike Electric, Inc., Quanta Services, Inc., Utility Services, Inc. (hereinafter collectively "the Electrical Construction Contractors");
  • Internationall Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW);
  • the nationall Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and Edison Electric Institute (EEI) (hereinafter collectively "the Trade Associations"); and
  • the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

When referring to agreements, activities, or roles specific to all of the partners except OSHA, this document refers to agreements, activities, or roles of the "Industry Partners."


OSHA, the Electrical Construction Contractors, the IBEW and the Trade Associations, through a common vision, are committed to providing contractor employees in the electrical transmission and distribution industry (the "Industry") a safe and healthful work place and to demonstrating leadership, responsibility and accountability in furthering worker health and safety.


The universal goal of the Partnership is to reduce the number of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the Industry. The proposed goals, strategies, and metrics for obtaining this universal goal are set forth in Appendix A. The Partnership encourages other non-partnership members in the industry to reduce and eliminate serious injuries and fatalities.


The specific impetus behind this Partnership is to provide a safer and more healthful work environment for union and non-union contractor workers in the Industry.

To that end, the Industry Partners undertake this Partnership pursuant to a non-competition, non-admission and non-aggression agreement by which all Industry Partners agree to mutual cooperation and to put aside differences in whatever form they may take (union vs. management; company vs. company; non-union vs. union), in order to focus on the reduction of injuries and fatalities in the Industry as a whole.

This Partnership is consistent with OSHA's efforts to develop employer /labor/government strategic partnership approaches to further occupational safety and health. It allows for effective use of OSHA resources, innovation in safety management, and encourages participation in the safety process by industry members, employees, and other interested parties. OSHA will provide resources appropriate to assist the Industry Partners in achieving the goal of reducing the number of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the Industry. In executing this agreement, OSHA does not forfeit any of its responsibilities or obligations to administer and enforce the OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) Act.

The Partnership will review and potentially integrate concepts developed by existing efforts such as:

  • NECA / OSHA Alliance
  • The Utility Industry Group (UIG)
  • SELCAT / NECA / OSHA Southeast Alliance
  • California IBEW / NECA Safety Committee Initiatives
  • Entergy / Entergy Transmission & Distribution Contractors Safety Council / OSHA Baton Rouge Area Office Alliance
  • nationall Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee
Roles and Responsibilities:

The Partnership will involve a multi-tiered approach utilizing an Executive Team, a Steering Team, and Task Teams to develop findings and recommendations that will then be reviewed and adopted by consensus.

The Executive Team will be comprised of the Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") or designated top official of each Industry Partner. The Executive Team will meet at least bi-annually to consider findings and recommendations and to adopt consensus solutions which then may be implemented by the relevant Industry Partners. The Executive Team will be comprised of a maximum of one (1) person per Industry Partner. The Executive Team will have authority to resolve any issues that arise at the Steering Team or Task Team levels. Actions on behalf of the Partnership will not be undertaken absent consensus resolution of the Executive Team. An OSHA representative will act as a non-voting partner to the Executive Team. The OSHA representative's role will be to offer consultation and advice to the Executive Team, as appropriate.

The Steering Team will be comprised of one member from each of the Partners, who is the person principally responsible for employee safety and health for that Industry Partner. The OSHA representatives will act as a non-voting partner to the Steering Team. The OSHA representative's role will be to offer consultation and advice to the Steering Team, as appropriate.

The purpose of the Steering Team is to perform activities to manage the Partnership including but not limited to: develop an implementation plan, conduct incident trend analysis, collect and review data and reports, develop and track training initiatives, clarify compliance strategies, approve goals and timetables, evaluate the Partnership and establish and coordinate the activities of the Task Teams. The Steering Team will meet at least quarterly, and more frequently as appropriate, to resolve issues that arise with respect to the Partnership. In addition, the Steering Team members designated by the Industry Partners will review and revise findings and recommendations received from Task Teams, and when appropriate, will forward findings and recommendations to the Executive Team for consideration as Partnership consensus solutions.

Task Teams will be given assignments by the Steering Team to focus on one or more discrete topics. The Task Teams will be given a set of goals and a timetable for reporting back to the Steering Team its findings and recommendations. These working groups shall be relatively small and efficient in reviewing all available private and public sector data. These working groups are open to members of the Trade Associations (for example, NECA or EEI member companies) and other outside resources identified by the task team to assist it in its efforts. The OSHA representatives will act as non-voting liaisons to the Task Teams. The OSHA representatives' role will be to offer consultation and advice to the Task Teams, as appropriate. To the extent that resources are available and consistent with statutory obligations and limitations, OSHA also will provide appropriate resources to support Task Team efforts.


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.

Partnership Assessment and Measurement System:

The goals, strategies, and metrics to assess and measure the progress of this Partnership are identified in Appendix A. The goals, strategies, and metrics may be subject to review and modification by the Executive Team, with OSHA input, as appropriate. The Partners will be responsible for the Partnership's Annual Evaluation Report pursuant to established evaluation format set forth in Appendix C of the OSHA Strategic Partnership Directive, and will include recommendations for improvement for the following year. The evaluation is due every year on or about the anniversary of the Partnership signing date.

Safety and Health Management System:

Each of the Electrical Construction Contractors represent that they have a written and implemented formal safety and health management system employing health and safety professionals at the operations and corporate levels. The Electrical Construction Contractors further represent that these safety and health management systems include all the elements described in "OSHA's Safety and Health Management Guidelines" dated January 26, 1989. With respect to unionized Electrical Construction Contractors, each represent that they have formal commitment statements from management and the IBEW leadership and/or affected IBEW local unions in every collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by and between the various Electrical Construction Contractors and unions. The leadership of the Electrical Construction Contractors, whether union or non-union, and the IBEW recognize the need to continuously improve in health and safety efforts. These efforts are supported by the Trade Associations through their safety and health programs and alliances.

Knowledge and Technology Transfer:

OSHA, the Electrical Construction Contractors, the IBEW and the Trade Associations have conducted health and safety research regarding the causes of accidents and fatalities in the Industry. This effort is undertaken on a non-judgmental basis and all information shall be submitted without company identifiers. OSHA pledges to use its available databases to develop data on accidents involving death or serious injuries over the last five years for the purpose of analyzing potential causes of serious incidents and fatalities. The Electrical Construction Contractors and the IBEW will make available information on their accidents. The Trade Associations will make available accident information voluntarily supplied by their members. Accident information will be provided in a manner that can be used effectively to identify the cause(s) of the accident and to prevent future accidents, but shall not include company or other individual identifiers. Nothing in the agreement will require Partners to disclose information related to open investigations, open cases (i.e. those not subject to a Final Order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission or the relevant court of competent jurisdiction), or information subject to privilege.

OSHA Inspections:

The Industry Partners recognize that this Partnership does not preclude OSHA inspections to investigate compliance with the OSH Act in accordance with OSHA enforcement procedures. This Partnership does not affect the manner in which OSHA will respond to complaints regarding workplace safety and health hazards; OSHA's inspection and investigation practices are detailed in the effective OSHA instruction concerning complaint policies and procedures. The agency's general policies provide for good-faith penalty reductions for effective safety and health management systems. Penalties generally will not be assessed against Industry Partners for non-serious violations, provided that they are abated the same day as the inspection. Inspections of limited scope may be conducted with respect to the industry in accordance with OSHA policy and shall reflect all significant hazards in the industry as identified by OSHA with input from the other partners.

Initiation and Termination of Agreement/Continued Participation:

The Partnership agreement is effective on the date of signing and will remain in effect until midnight two years from the date of signing. After year two of this Partnership, the Partners will have an option to extend this Partnership. Without regard to the two year term, thirty days or more after providing all partners with notice, any Partner can terminate its involvement in the Partnership and its obligations pursuant to the Partnership and to the other Partners. Continued participation in the Partnership is contingent on a Partner's continued ability and willingness to act in a manner designed to achieve the Goals established in the Agreement and to comply with the terms of the Agreement. Such determinations shall be made by consensus of the Executive Team.

Modifications and Changes To Agreement:

Any modifications or changes to the Partnership Agreement shall be subject to the consensus approval of the Executive Team. To the extent that additional organizations desire to join the Partnership, they must submit a Letter of Intent to Participate (Appendix B) and their approval and the extent of their participation (i.e. membership on the Executive Team) shall be subject to objective criteria established by the Executive Team, including: the employment or representation of workers in the Industry; the willingness to develop and implement a written safety and health management system, as detailed in this agreement; and the ability and willingness to further the goals established in this agreement. Such determinations shall be made by consensus of the Executive Team.

State Plans:

The Electrical Construction Contractors and OSHA recognize that certain worksites of the Electrical Construction Contractors are and will be located in states which have assumed authority for the enforcement of OSHA standards pursuant to Section 18 of the OSH Act. State agencies that enforce OSHA standards in states with approved OSHA plans will be encouraged to participate in the Partnership in a manner that will further the goals established in this Agreement.

Rights and Obligations of the Partners and Employees:

The provisions of this agreement shall not modify any legal or contractual rights, obligations, or remedies. This Partnership does not preclude employees from exercising any right provided under the OSH Act, nor does it abrogate any responsibility to comply with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the Act. All OSHA undertakings under this agreement are subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

Effect on Pending Litigation:

Neither the fact of this agreement, nor the adoption of any consensus solutions pursuant to this agreement, may be used by any Partner (or entity related to a Partner) to advance its interests in any litigation (criminal or civil) that is pending on the date that the Partnership is executed.

Signature Page

Based upon a mutual interest to reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses, the Partners below, on behalf of their respective organizations, agree to the above terms of an OSHA Partnering Agreement.

Signed this 20th day of August 2004.



  • For OSHA


  • John L. Henshaw
  • Assistant Secretary of Labor for
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • For Henkels & McCoy, Inc.


  • T. Roderick Henkels
  • President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Henkels & McCoy, Inc.


  • For Internationall Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,


  • Edwin D. Hill
  • Internationall President
  • Mark H. Ayers
  • Director, Construction and Maintenance
  • For MYR Group Inc.


  • William A. Koertner
  • President and Chief Executive Officer
  • MYR Group Inc.
  • For Edison Electric Institute


  • Carl D. Behnke
  • Vice President Human Resources
  • and Corporate Services
  • Charles J. Kelly
  • For Pike Electric, Inc.


  • J. Eric Pike
  • President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Pike Electric, Inc.
  • Director, Industry Human Resource Issues
    For National Electrical Contractors Association/li>


  • John M. Grau
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • For Quanta Services, Inc.


  • John R. Colson
  • Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
  • Quanta Services, Inc.
  • For Utility Services, Inc.


  • Ronald G. Skarphol
  • President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Utility Services, Inc.



APPENDIX A: Proposed Goals, Strategies and Metrics

Data Analysis and Identification of Target Areas

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

Goals Strategies Metrics
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 a specific Task Team:

  • Obtain industry-specific Days Away from Work, Restricted Work Activity, or Job Transfer (DART) and Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) Rates based upon partner recordable injuries and illnesses per man hour worked annually.
  • Develop a concise database of accidents and incidents involving fatalities and serious injuries.
  • 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:

  • Based on collected data, identify and prioritize the target areas that are causing 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:

  • Baseline DART and TCIR Rates for Partners compared to published BLS averages for the industry, and any other metrics identified by the Steering Team.
Identification and Implementation of Best Practices
Goals Strategies Metrics
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 Partnership.

Through a specific Task Team:

  • Develop consensus 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.)
  • Share Best Practices among Partners.
  • Develop implementation strategies for each Best Practice. Implementation strategies should include all major milestones, projected timelines, and means of verification.
  • Recognize implementation of Best Practices and post results on a common Partnership website.
  • Evaluate the media utilized by all members to present Best Practices.

Develop Metrics related to required work practices, including but not limited to:

  • Number of consensus best practices developed.
  • Number of consensus Best Practices posted on common website or through other electronic tools.
  • Number of best practices effectively implemented by Partners.
Development and Delivery of Training
Goals Strategies Metrics

3. Ensure that the Industry Partners’ employees are effectively trained to utilize the established Best Practices, including:

(a) minimum qualifications of T&D construction linemen;

(b) standards for quality and consistency of training for:

  1. apprentices and
  2. in service training for lineworkers;

(c) minimum skill set qualifications for T&D construction foremen, general foremen, and supervisors;

(d) retraining/refresher training of linemen, foremen, general foremen and supervisors.

Through a specific Task Team, in addition to training required pursuant to the OSH Act:

  • Identify training criteria for foremen, general foremen, and supervisors, including training to promote industry culture change to place value on safety and health.
  • Identify training criteria for linemen, including training to promote industry culture change to place value on safety and health.
  • Identify training criteria for apprentices, including training to promote industry culture change to place value on safety and health.
  • Develop a procedure for uniform evaluation and communication of skill levels (i.e. SmartCard or like database system).
  • Develop a procedure for certification or documentation of training prior to starting a new or changed job with participants.
  • Develop a means for Partners to address repeated failures to follow training and violations of safety procedures.
  • Create re-training/refresher standards for linemen, apprentices, foremen, general foremen, supervisors, and any other relevant job classifications.

Develop Metrics related to required training/retraining and refresher training requirements, including but not limited to:

  • Number or percentage of supervisors receiving the minimum training and/or re-training
  • Number or percentage of lineman receiving the minimum training and/or re-training
  • Number or percentage of apprentices receiving the minimum training and/or re-training
  • Number or percentage of linemen and supervisors receiving certification, when developed.
  • Number or percentage of employees who have successfully mastered skills and procedures established in Best Practices.
Outreach and Communication
Goals Strategies Metrics
4. Effectively communicate safety and health Best Practices, and other useful safety and health information, within the Industry.

Establish a clear, strong means of communication to promote a cooperative approach between employers, employees and government, including, but not limited to:

  • Create a centralized Partnership database or web page that includes the established Best Practices.
  • Share information with OSHA compliance personnel regarding the electric utility industry in general and the power line contracting segment in particular.

Develop Metrics, including but not limited to:

  • Number of Partner-lead meetings held to communicate Industry information to OSHA compliance personnel.
  • Number of OSHA personnel attending training sessions conducted by the Partners.
  • Number of database/web hits to centralized Best Practices site.
Program Evaluation
Goals Strategies Metrics
5. Establish an effective evaluation strategy to ensure that the goals of the OSP are met.
  • The Steering Committee is to regularly review collected data against the goals laid out in the OSP.
  • Both the Steering Committee and the Executive Team, with assistance from OSHA, are to track the Partnership’s progress against the agreed upon BLS nationall averages in regards to fatalities, injuries, and illnesses.
  • Via the Annual Evaluation Report, OSHA and its Partners are to determine if goals are met and strategies properly implemented based on the analysis of collected data. (AER will not contain Partner-specific information.)

Develop metrics, including but not limited to:

  • Number of injuries and illnesses experienced by Partnership employees compared to the Partnership’s employees’ past frequency rate as measured per 100 man-hours worked annually. Where as: N x 200,000 / total hours worked. (N = Electrical/flash injuries).
  • Other types of data collection, such as employee surveys and employee interviews during inspections, will be considered to measure intangible improvements, such as work safety culture evolvements.
  • Number of safety and health management systems implemented/improved.

Name of Organization:______________________________
Organization Representative:____________________________

We have read the terms of the Transmission & Distribution Electrical Construction Contractors Safety Partnership and agree with all aspects of the program, including the submission of the required information. Specifically, we recognize the need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Establishment of a written safety and health management system including the following elements: management leadership, worker involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and \ safety and health training.
  2. Compliance with the OSH Act and all current OSHA standards.
  3. Provision of visible leadership by management and supervisors in implementing the safety and health program.
  4. Participation in Task Teams in order to accomplish the objectives and strategies of the Partnership.

Based upon the mutual interest to reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses in the industry, we agree to the terms of the OSHA Partnering Agreement.

Signed this ___ day of ________________, 200__.




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