Competent Person & Excavation Safety Workshop

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Competent Person & Excavation Safety Workshop

Competent Person & Excavation Safety Workshop

Date: May 1-2, 2019
  • 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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“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.


Wednesday, May 1 – 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
4:30 pm  Wrap-up

Thursday, May 2 – Hands-on Field Training

8:30 am  Trench Excavation Safety – Shoring, Benching and Sloping, Andy Smoka & Jordan Fischer, United Rentals Trench Safety
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 without notice.

What to Bring

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


Participants will receive a certificate of attendance. Watch for an email notification from MMUA after the event.

Registration Fee

Members: $225 per student
Non-members:  $300 per student
All fees increase $50 on April 1, 2019.

Registration fee includes: workshop tuition, materials, refreshment breaks, Thursday lunch and a certificate of attendance. Participants are responsible for their own transportation and lodging.

Deadline to register is April 11, 2019.


MMUA will issue a refund on advance registrations (minus $30 processing fee per person) provided MMUA is notified by 4:30 pm on April 12, 2019. No refunds after April 12.

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.


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. 


Please contact Theresa Neddermeyer by email or call 763-551-1230.


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


Thank You, Annual Sponsors

View all Annual Sponsors

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!