Safety First: NUCA Introduces NUCA STAR Program

Safety is the utility construction industry’s first priority. It is also the top priority of the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA). To help our members reach that goal, NUCA is introducing the NUCA Safety, Training, Awareness and Recognition (NUCA STAR) Program.

“NUCA STAR has the promise to deliver an improved safety envelope for both each NUCA member and the entire utility construction industry,” said Mike Flowers, NUCA director of safety, education and training. “NUCA members can promote for bids and labor needs their company’s safety culture through NUCA STAR’s standardized industry rating system. Making jobsite safety a top priority will attract and retain employees who see that the company recognizes the importance of a safe working environment.”

The NUCA STAR Program was developed by the association’s Safety Committee to help evaluate, update, and recognize a member company’s safety program and practices. NUCA members who volunteer to participate should see lower incident rates and accidents on their jobsites and in their company facilities.

The program will focus on evaluating four specific areas: Leadership, Culture, Procedures, and Records and Data Management. Under these four core areas will be subsections, scored on a point system which will have specific guideline that a company must meet for each category.

Leadership is extremely important in a company’s safety program and NUCA STAR will fully evaluate a company’s safety program. The evaluation includes existing safety mission statement, safety procedures, safety training and allocated resources, and individual employee safety evaluation and performance reviews.

Culture is measured through analyzing employees’ engagement in safety awareness, a company’s substance abuse and awareness program, leadership safety meetings, new hire orientations and training, and the company’s safety program goals and reviews.

The Procedures category includes questions about a company’s accident and incident investigation process, incident response procedures and policies, safety rules and policies, toolbox talks and employee safety training, inspection processes, personal protective equipment procedures, and vehicle and mobile equipment procedures and policies.

The point system for each subcategory will be 12 as the highest, followed by 8, 4, and zero. To encourage competition and high achievement, the accumulated points are given four levels of accomplishment:

  • Platinum (240-276 points)
  • Gold (206-239 points)
  • Silver (176-205 points)
  • Bronze (139-175 points)

Once a company’s application is submitted to NUCA STAR with all supporting documentation, the NUCA STAR Review Board will have 10 business days to evaluate the application. The Review Board will consist of four members of the NUCA Safety Committee.

There will be no fee to participate in the NUCA STAR program, but members can make a donation to the NUCA Safety Ambassador Club (NUCA SAC) to further the association’s educational and training programs. A detailed outline of the NUCA STAR program is available online along with the application. There is also a paper application available for submission.

The NUCA STAR program will be available year-round, and submissions for the program can be made at any time during the year. Members who achieve the Platinum level will be required to resubmit their application every three years to maintain that superlative level of safety achievement.

June is a perfect time to launch the NUCA STAR program. NUCA declared June 2022 as the industry’s Trench Safety Month, with the sixth annual Trench Safety Stand Down taking place between June 20 and June 24. This week-long event encouraged each industry member to take a few hours to focus their employees on trench and excavation safety and how to stay safe when working in and around our industry’s jobsites.

The NUCA STAR program was developed to become a carefully focused analytical tool to aid NUCA member companies in evaluating, updating, and recognizing their company’s safety program and practices.

With a NUCA membership, a company gains access to NUCA’s elite educational program, technical assistance, and training programs to ensure that you are protecting your most important investment – your employees.

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