Competent Person and Excavation Safety Workshop

Back to Calendar

Competent Person and Excavation Safety Workshop

Competent Person and Excavation Safety Workshop

Date: May 23-24, 2023
  • Day 1: May 23, 2023 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
  • Day 2: May 24, 2023 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: MMUA Training Center, 1004 Michigan Road, Marshall, MN
Get Directions
This event is now closed for online registration

“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 

Our lead instructor Andy Smoka is a former MN OSHA principal safety consultant and foremost expert on this subject. In addition, Joel DePons with United Rentals Trench Safety will provide expertise on protective systems.

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 prepare participants seeking to obtain the designation of a competent person.

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

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for public works personnel, water/wastewater personnel, lineworkers, engineering personnel, contract workers, and anyone involved with underground utility or infrastructure work.

Training Hours Available:
MDH will grant 10 related hours to Minnesota water operators who attend this training in its entirety.
MPCA will grant 10 indirect wastewater hours to Minnesota wastewater operators who attend this training in its entirety.

Participants must track their own hours.


Tuesday, May 23

12:00 pm  Registration/check-in
1:00 pm  Welcome and introductions
1:15 pm  Competent person/excavation safety
3:00 pm  Excavation around/exposing natural gas and power lines
4:30 pm  Wrap-up

Wednesday, May 24 – classroom and hands-on field training

8:00 am  Trench excavation safety: shoring, benching, and sloping
12:00 pm  Lunch
1:00 pm  Trench excavation safety (continued)
2:45 pm  Q&A and debrief
4:00 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: $360 per student
Non-members:  $510 per student

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

Deadline to register is April 21, 2023.


MMUA will issue a refund on advance registrations (minus $35 processing fee per person) provided MMUA is notified by 4:30 pm on April 21, 2023. Sorry, no refunds after April 21.

Hotel / Motel Information - Marshall, MN

Marshall has many options for hotel accommodations. The following offer special pricing for participants (based on availability). Call the hotel directly and be sure to ask for MMUA’s reduced rate when making your reservation. 

AmericInn by Wyndham
1406 East Lyon Street, Marshall
Phone 507-537-9424

EverSpring Inn (formerly Ramada Inn)
1500 East College Drive, Marshall
Phone 507-532-3221

Sleep Inn 
1300 Nwakama Street, Marshall
Phone 507-337-0103


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.

This information is available in a printable brochure as well.