Partnership #325 - Renewal Agreement - January 25, 2011

Transmission and Distribution Partnership



AsplundhEdison Electric InstituteHenkels and McCoy

International Brotherhood of Electrical WorkersMDU Construction Services Group, Inc.Pike Energy Solutions

MYR GroupNational Electrical Contractors AssociationQuanta Services


Identification of the Partners:

The partners to this agreement include:

  • Asplundh Tree Expert Co., Henkels & McCoy, Inc., MDU Construction Services Group, Inc., MYR Group, Inc., Pike Electric, Inc., Quanta Services, Inc. (hereinafter collectively "the Electrical Construction Contractors");
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW);
  • the National 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 this OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) 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 OSP encourages other non-partnership members in the industry to reduce and eliminate serious injuries and fatalities.


The specific impetus behind this OSP 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 shall continue this OSP 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 OSP is consistent with OSHA’s efforts to develop employer /labor/government 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.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The OSP shall continue its 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 continue to 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 OSP 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 continue to 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 continue to perform activities to manage the OSP 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 OSP 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 OSP. 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 OSP 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 renew the OSP 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 OSP 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 OSP’s Annual Evaluation Report each calendar year pursuant to established evaluation format and will include recommendations for improvement for the following year. The evaluation is due every year on or about December 31st for each year of the OSP.

OSHA will conduct annual offsite evaluations of the OSP concurrently with the Executive Team’s annual OSP evaluation. To perform its annual evaluation, OSHA will review data gathered and reports generated by the OSP as the OSP works to achieve the goals specified in Appendix A.

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 OSP does not preclude OSHA inspections to investigate compliance with the OSH Act in accordance with OSHA enforcement procedures. This OSP 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 OSP agreement is effective on the date of signing and will remain in effect until December 31, 2013. At the conclusion of this OSP, the Partners will have an option to extend this OSP. Without regard to the term, thirty days or more after providing all partners with notice, any Partner can terminate its involvement in the OSP and its obligations pursuant to the OSP and to the other Partners. Continued participation in the OSP 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 Strategic Partnership Agreement shall be subject to the consensus approval of the Executive Team. To the extent that additional organizations desire to join the OSP, 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 OSP 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 OSP 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 OSP 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 25th day of January, 2011



  • For OSHA


  • David Michaels, PhD, MPH
  • Assistant Secretary of Labor
  • For Henkels & McCoy, Inc.


  • T. Roderick Henkels
  • President and Chief Executive Officer


  • For International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO


  • Jerry Westerholm
  • Director, Construction and Maintenance
  • For Edison Electric Institute


  • Charles J. Kelly
  • Director of Industry Human Resource Issues
  • For National Electrical Contractors Association


  • John M. Grau
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • For Asplundh Tree Expert Co.


  • George Graham
  • President, Asplundh-Utilicon Solutions, Ltd.
  • For MYR Group Inc.


  • William A. Koertner
  • President and Chief Executive Officer
  • For Pike Electric, Inc.


  • J. Eric Pike
  • President and Chief Executive Officer
  • For Quanta Services, Inc.


  • John R. Colson
  • President and Chief Executive Officer
  • For MDU Construction Services Group, Inc.


  • John Harp
  • President and Chief Executive Officer




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

Goals Strategies Performance Measures

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).

a) Obtain industry-specific Days Away from Work, Restricted Work Activity, or Job Transfer (DART) rate and Total Case Incident rate (TCIR) based upon Industry Partner recordable injuries and illnesses per man hours worked annually.

b) Continue to analyze data from Industry Partner fatalities and catastrophes as outlined by the OSHA Form-170s.

c) 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.

d)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:

  1. Consensus best practices
  2. Training
  3. Outreach and communication

i.   Annual DART rate and TCIR for Industry Partners compared to published BLS averages for the industry.   

ii.   Summary report of industry fatality and catastrophe data maintained by the Industry Partners.

iii. Summary report of accidents and incidents, including causal factors using data analysis from Industry Partner OSHA Form 300 data.

iv. Summary report of priority causal factors and Task Team assignments.

2) 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).


  1.   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.

i. Number and focus of consensus Best Practices documents developed.  

ii.  Number and focus of Best Practices documents effectively implemented by Industry Partners.


3) 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.

a) 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 

b) Develop a procedure for the uniform evaluation and documentation of training (i.e. database system) of foremen, general foremen, supervisors, linemen and apprentices.

c) 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.

d) Develop a process for Partners to mitigate safety procedure violations that could result in incidents or accidents.

i.   Summary report including the number and percentage of foremen, general foremen, supervisors, linemen and apprentices receiving the Industry Specific Training and SLSOT courses.

ii. Implementation of a training tracking system. 

iii.Establish new retraining/refresher training process for linemen, apprentices, foremen, general foremen, and supervisors.

iv. Annual report of processes developed by Industry Partners designed to mitigate safety procedure violations that could result in incidents or accidents.

4) Effectively communicate information to improve the safety and health culture within the electrical transmission and distribution industry.

a) Make Best Practices available to the public.

b) Promote the value of a positive safety and health culture to the industry.

c) Share information with OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) regarding the electric transmission and distribution industry.

i.   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.

ii.   Number of outreach products for each of the following:

  1. Videos
  2. Publications
  3. Workshops



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 25 day of January, 2011.




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