May 2012, Vol. 67 No. 5


United Rentals acquires trench safety company, offers safety courses

United Rentals Inc. has acquired the assets of Coble Trench Safety, a market leader in specialty rentals, with 11 locations in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast region.

“We are delighted to expand our trench safety rentals business through the acquisition of Coble Trench Safety,” said Paul McDonnell, senior vice president-operation, trench, power and HVAC. “We’re attracted to Coble’s mix of government and industrial customers with very little branch overlap in strong markets. We were looking forward to working with Tom Coble, and were deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic passing. He was instrumental in developing innovative new technologies and customer safety training programs in support of the underground construction Industry. Tom was a pioneer in the industry and we intend to build on his legacy.”

With the acquisition, United Rentals’ trench presence grows to 93 locations in 28 states and Canada.

Further enhancing its trench safety solutions, the company announced that its excavation safety training courses are now available over the Internet for contractors to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. The online curriculum has been developed by instructors with trench site experience, and mirrors the classroom training the company provides at each of its trench safety locations nationwide.

Excavation Safety Training for Competent Persons addresses OSHA 1926 subpart P, including proper soil test procedures, types of protective systems and guidance on how to take control of hazardous conditions. Confined Space Training addresses OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146, including safety procedures, hazards and the duties of confined space entrants, attendants and supervisors. When successfully completed, both courses provide written documentation that satisfies U.S. federal requirements.

United Rentals’ trench safety training is part of a broader curriculum that includes safety and fall protection, site-specific regulatory compliance and operator certifications for equipment such as aerial lifts, loaders, backhoes, forklifts and cranes. To access trench safety training programs online, visit

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