Founded in 1975, the Arizona Utility Contractors Association (AZUCA) has a broad membership base that includes contractors, governing agencies, utilities, locating companies, suppliers and our state One Call Center, Arizona 811. Our association’s goal is to work together with all stakeholder groups to solve industry issues, promote safety and prevent damages to underground utilities.
From roundtable discussions, like our most recent with local municipal inspectors, to our HDD rodeo, AZUCA is committed to promoting safety and damage prevention in just about every step we take. For example, all of our board meetings open with safety reminders. Also, participants in the HDD Rodeo could not take the field until completing a 10-question test on our 811 laws, which contributed significantly to their score.
As an independent state association, we can partner with groups that align with our core values and aid us in fulfilling our mission to better serve our members and community. AZUCA maintains one of the first alliances in Arizona with the Arizona Department of Safety & Health (ADOSH), an agency that proactively promotes safety and health measures in the workplace. Offering free and low-cost trenching and confined space entry training regionally enables us to make an impact in our state.
Our dedication to damage prevention and excavator education is evident in our participation in the Arizona Locate Resolution Partnership (AZLRP), the APWA’s Arizona Utility Coordinating Committee and our long-term participation in the Damage Prevention & Safety Partnership. Each year, we participate in every regional Damage Prevention & Safety Seminar across Arizona promoting trenching and excavation safety. As executive director, I am honored to have been recognized as a Damage Prevention Hero by Damage Prevention Professional in 2013 as part of this team. “Arizona 811 and its members are proud to have AZUCA as a partner in the discussion and resolution of industry issues and to bring quality damage prevention and safety education to the excavating community statewide,” says Sandra Holmes, Executive Director of Arizona 811.
As an advisory member of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), AZUCA partnered with the MAG Specifications & Details Committee, Dr. Sam Ariaratnam and Aaron Cohen of Arizona State University’s Del. E Webb School of Engineering to develop a Horizontal Directional Drilling specification that went into effect in January 2016, the first of its kind in the United States. Damage prevention, of course, was a significant consideration and driver while drafting the specification that will be widely used across the entire state.
“AZUCA is making a big difference with our training, industry advocacy and support of continuing education through our scholarship program. We’re not just going through the motions, we’re following through,” says Bill Tippett, current president of AZUCA. Membership indicates an enlightened understanding of business and our industry. Only the most conscientious join associations to improve their industry for all. Only the
cream of the crop involves themselves with others who strive to maintain high standards and integrity.”
Connie Peretz is Executive Director of Arizona Utility Contractors Association (AZUCA). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.