The Crystal Ball: Featured Discussion

Roundtable Participants:
Tim Pfleeger (Electric Conduit Construction), Ron Erickson (Q3 Contracting), Justin Larson (Xcel Energy), Matthew Peterson (CDOT – 811 Chicago)

AJ Kerr (NPL Construction), Kevin Basham (NPL Construction)

Should there be improved oversight around sub-contractors? Are programs like Gold Shovel Standard, which scores and ranks excavators based on safe-digging practices, beneficial to the industry? Or is it just one more hoop for excavators to jump through?

Tim: Well, from a contractor perspective, it’s another hoop to jump through. But I always look at it even from an insurance perspective. All of our customers, they want EMR ratings under one. They want OSHA recordable rates under three. And although some of those ratings can be suspect, I think what it does do is provide a sense of heightened scrutiny on it. Internally, we know we have to stay below these ratings to do work for people. There are things that we naturally have to do, even if those ratings didn’t exist, from a dollars and cents point of view. So I think it helps. I think it forces people who don’t have safety programs with excavation and damage prevention to at least try. I think having something in place provides an even playing ground among contractors, and as an industry, tries to elevate the standards a little bit. I don’t know if you guys agree to that. 

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