NUCA’s Steve Theis Develops HDD Safety Training Program

Mon September 17, 2007 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) has released a new Horizontal Directional Drilling Safety Training Program. Developed by NUCA’s Trenchless Technology Committee from one originally developed by NUCA member Steve Theis, vice president of safety for the MYR Group Inc., the program will alleviate the current scarcity of safety training materials specifically related to trenchless methods, according to the association.

Available as a PowerPoint presentation, the training program will help construction managers, foremen, competent persons and workers identify common hazards unique to HDD and provide information about how to eliminate or control them. It is designed to be presented by an instructor (in-house or consultant) who will use the included notes to discuss the issues in detail. It is not recommended for use as a self-taught, e-learning training experience.

The program is based on the following basic principles:

• Successful safety programs require management and employees to work together to eliminate or control hazards that could injure the general public and employees, or damage equipment and property.

• Contractors, competent persons and equipment operators should always refer to the manufacturer’s operator’s manual to ensure that drilling equipment is being used properly and safely.

• Prior to starting any job, a job specific hazard analysis should be performed to identify existing and potential hazards. It also is important to comply with all applicable OSHA, state, and local rules and regulations. (Although OSHA does not have any rules or regulations specific to HDD operations, many of the construction standards do apply to the work performed.)

• Each job should have a competent person to oversee the work. A competent person for HDD work should be knowledgeable about HDD operations, capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards, and have the authority to take corrective action to correct hazards.

For more information, call 518/885-2560 or visit

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