NUCA And TEST Work Together to Build Safe Excavations

The partnership seeks increased awareness of trench risks and safety investments

NUCA And TEST Work Together to Build Safe Excavations

Most trenching accidents could be avoided by following simple, commonplace and inexpensive-to-implement guidelines.

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Safety is a vital component of every utility construction job site and employee activity. That's why the National Utility Contractors Association is announcing its partnership with Trenching Excavation Safety Task force.

“Job site safety begins with sharing important information, and nothing is more important in this industry than knowing how to stay safe in and around excavations,” says Mike Flowers, NUCA’s director of safety, training and education. “Our partnership with TEST will allow a broader reach of NUCA’s own safety platforms and combine it with TEST’s own industry safety expertise and communication programs. We’re glad to be working together to keep our industry’s employees safe and get them home to their families at the end of a long workday.”

NUCA’s safety programs and TEST’s affirmed goals are the same: to keep our industry’s men and women safe when they are working in and around excavations.

The goal of this partnership is to promote awareness of trench safety, the many training programs offered to industry members for their employee’s benefit, and to help ensure industry employees stay safe while building our nation’s vital core infrastructure projects. The partnership has been informally underway since late last year, but found its high gear as the 2023 building season began in earnest last month.

It’s a complimentary partnership. NUCA has a wealth of safety programs directed towards its members and the industry. Each June, NUCA teams with the USDOL Occupational Safety and Health Administration during its annual Trench Safety Stand Down week (this year slated for June 19-23). Trench Safety Stand Down week provides an opportunity for employers to talk directly to their employees and others about trench safety by holding toolbox talks and extended training sessions at members’ job sites across the nation. June also has been branded Trench Safety Month by the industry, earning numerous proclamations by state governors.

NUCA’s STAR Program provides a venue for every company in the utility construction industry to measure the effectiveness of their safety programs and recognize how these important company programs can be improved. The NUCA STAR Program categories of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum allow companies to review their processes and evaluate their safety programs’ strengths and potential areas of improvement in the critical areas that provide a lasting path to safety success. NUCA’s website contains detailed information on NUCA STAR Program guidelines, as well as the application process for NUCA members and non-members.

NUCA also offers a wealth of safety resources to members, including their award-winning Competent Person and Confined Space Training courses, trained safety instructors, safety publications such as NUCA Safety News, industry toolbox talks, a dedicated safety staff and online webinars.

The TEST force was started online in 2019 by industry safety professionals to bring more awareness to trenching and excavation safety and prevent injuries and fatalities. TEST’s mission is to create industry awareness and drive insight into trenching and excavation safety, collaborating without organizational or geographic boundaries to improve day-to-day safety for field workers.

“We hope others are always learning about trench safety and how to safely perform excavation activities,” reads TEST’s LinkedIn profile. With over 8,500 followers, NUCA reposts and shares TEST’s content several times a week on the association’s own social media platforms.

TEST is based out of Denver, Colorado, and can be found at and also on LinkedIn. Their website has links to online trench and excavation resources, from both government and private industry sources. TEST’s partners also include numerous NUCA national partners.


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