Competent Person & Excavation Safety Workshop

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Competent Person & Excavation Safety Workshop

Competent Person & Excavation Safety Workshop

Date: May 22-23, 2018
  • Day 1: 12:00 pm - 4:30 pm
  • Day 2: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Location: MMUA Training Center, 1004 Michigan Road, Marshall, MN
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Pricing: Members: $225 before Apr 21, 2018
Nonmembers: $300 before Apr 21, 2018
All fees increase $50 on or after Apr 21, 2018
Certificate: 10.5 hrs

“Competent Person” Defined

The OSHA Construction Standard (29 CFR 1926.32) defines a competent person as someone who is:

  • capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings, or
  • working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and
  • who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

What You Will Learn 

Participants will be taught the basics of OSHA’s excavation standards (29 CFR 1926--Subpart P), learn about soil testing, use soil information to determine the correct protective system needed, and learn to identify the hazards associated with trenching and excavation.

Digging around natural gas and high voltage power lines is a very critical process and needs to be done with extreme care. Students will also learn the proper techniques when digging around these obstacles.

This workshop includes classroom and hands-on instruction/demonstration to ensure participants can obtain the designation of a Competent Person at the end of this workshop.

Course Topics & Objectives to Obtain Competent Person Designation:

  • Display knowledge of 29 CFR 1926-Subpart P-Excavations
  • Demonstrate correct soil-testing procedures
  • Identify hazards associated with trenching and excavations
  • Understand and utilize the different types of protective systems
  • Understand proper “pot holing practices”
  • Gas and powerline excavation

Lead instructor for this workshop is Andy Smoka, former MN OSHA principal safety consultant and foremost expert on this subject.

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for public works personnel, water/wastewater personnel, lineworkers, engineering personnel, contract workers, and anyone else responsible for digging or who spends time in and around excavations.


Tuesday, May 22 – Classroom Training

12:00 pm  Registration
1:00 pm  Welcome & Introductions
1:15 pm  Competent Person/Excavation Safety, Andy Smoka
3:00 pm  Excavation Around/Exposing Natural Gas & Power Lines, Shane St. Clair & Troy Dahlin, MMUA
4:30 pm  Wrap-up

Wednesday, May 23 – Hands-on Field Training

8:30 am  Trench Excavation Safety – Shoring, Benching and Sloping, Andy Smoka & Equipment Suppliers
12:00 pm  Lunch Served
1:00 pm  Trench Excavation Safety (continued)
3:00 pm  Q & A and Debrief
4:30 pm  Wrap-up

Schedule subject to change.

What to Bring

  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses
  • High-visibility clothing
  • Leather gloves
  • Appropriate footwear


Participants earn hours for attendance and a certificate of achievement will be available online. Participants should watch for an email notification from MMUA.

Hotel / Motel Information - Marshall, MN

For a map of hotels in Marshall, click HERE. The AmericInn and Ramada have special pricing. Just ask for MMUA's reduced rate.

Registration Fee

$225 per student for members; $300 per student for non-members. All fees increase $50 on April 21.
Fee includes: workshop tuition, materials, one lunch, refreshment breaks and a certificate of achievement.

Deadline to register is May 1, 2018.


A refund will be given on advance registrations if the MMUA office is notified by 4:30 pm on May 2, 2018. A cancellation fee of $30 per person will be charged. No refunds after May 2, 2018.


By registering for this event I/we authorize Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) to photograph me at this event and use such photographs in MMUA marketing materials (both electronic and print). I/we understand that I/we will not be paid for giving this consent. 


If you have questions about the program and its content, contact Cody Raveling by email or phone 507.380.9578.

If you have questions or problems with registration or reservations, contact Theresa Neddermeyer by email or phone 763.551.1230.

A printable version of the Competent Person/Excavation Safety Workshop brochure is also available.


Online Event Registration

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Thank You, Annual Sponsors

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Video Captures 2016 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo

We now have a 4-minute rodeo recap video of the 2016 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, live on the MMUA YouTube channel.  It features great footage and interviews with a number of key players in the event.  The April 2 event was hosted by Shakopee Public Utilities and MMUA, and brought together lineworkers from across the country. Watch this video and enjoy reliving that amazing day.  Be sure to bundle up before you click!