NUCA And TEST: Working Together To Build Safe Excavations

Partnership Seeks Increased Awareness Of Trench Risks and Safety Investments

Safety is a vital component of every utility construction jobsite and employee activity. The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) proudly announced its partnership with Trenching Excavation Safety Task (TEST) force.

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“Jobsite safety begins with sharing important information, and nothing is more important in this industry than knowing how to stay safe in and around excavations,” said 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.

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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 very 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 (OSHA) during our annual Trench Safety Stand Down (TSSD) week (this year, June 19-23). TSSD 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’ jobsites across the nation. June also has been branded “Trench Safety Month” by the industry, earning numerous proclamations by state governors.

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RELATED: NUCA’s 2022 Trench Safety Stand Down A Huge Success!

NUCA’s STAR (Safety, Training, Awareness and Recognition) 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.

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RELATED: NUCA STAR Program Introduced

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.

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The Trenching Excavation Safety Task (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,” exclaims TEST’s LinkedIn profile. With over 8,500 followers, their LinkedIn content deserves to be reposted and shared because of the insight it delivers into safe trenching and accident prevention. NUCA reposts and shares TEST’s content several times a week on the association’s own social media platforms.

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TEST is based out of Denver, Colorado, and can be found at its website 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 such as United Rentals, Sunbelt Rentals, National Trench Safety, and NUCA members such as Colorado 811, T.A. Loving, D.P. Nicoli Inc., D.H. Charles Engineering, BTrenchless, American West Construction LLC, SFI Compliance, and NUCA of Colorado.