The client facility was an active chemical production plant that consists of several buildings and an active landfill in a campus-like setting on 800 acres of land in New York state. The client hired contractors to conduct various tasks within the landfill and for repairing site utilities, including excavations at various dimensions and depths. The client’s objective was to educate and train employees to be Excavation Safety Competent Persons. These employees would then function as competent persons on excavation and trenching activities within the facility.
The overall scope of work included developing and implementing an excavation safety training program consistent with the client’s site-specific procedures/policies and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P requirements. The training program was designed to ensure that employees obtained the knowledge, skills, and understanding necessary to be considered “competent persons” (as defined by OSHA) for excavation safety.
Antea Group developed a comprehensive training curriculum and training tools that focused on safety requirements, recognizing hazards, protective systems, sloping/benching, protecting underground utilities, soil classification, and inspections. Antea Group also designed hands-on tabletop and field exercises to support employee understanding of excavation safety and soil mechanics concepts. In addition, the team integrated a local protective system equipment supplier into the training to allow for a practical discussion on means and methods for approaching different types of excavation and trenching scenarios.
Antea Group created a reference binder for participants including a power point presentation, the OSHA standard on excavations (including interpretation letters), summary of soil classification, applicable internal client procedures, excavation safety checklist, Dig Safely New York guide, and product literature on protective systems.
Antea Group delivered the two-day training program to twenty client employees, including employees from maintenance, EHS, engineering, and operations. The team had an opportunity to learn the OSHA-required excavation safety concepts while using their internal procedures and forms. Feedback from employees who participated in the training was excellent. Several participants indicated that the hands-on experience was useful, and the ability to use their own procedures and the safe work permit form was meaningful.