Damage Prevention & Safety

Kansas Governor Proclaims April as Safe Digging Month

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proclaimed April as “Safe Digging Month.” The proclamation, in concurrence with National Safe Digging Month, reminds Kansans to call 811 before starting any outdoor that requires digging—including landscaping and home improvement projects. Calling 811 is a no-cost, ..

America to Celebrate 2nd Annual National Gas Utility Workers' Day on March 18

America will celebrate its 2nd annual National Gas Utility Workers’ Day on March 18, 2017. This day of recognition is a time when communities give recognition to the employees who provide one of their most valuable assets—their natural gas utility. Gas Utility Workers’ Day occurs on March 18 becaus..

SoCalGas Joins Gold Shovel Standard

Southern California Gas Co. today announced its membership in the Gold Shovel Standard, a first-of-its-kind safety program designed to increase the bar for excavation safety performance and reduce the more than 2,000 dig-ins that occur each year throughout the company’s 20,000-square-mile service ar..

Errant Excavator Blamed for Iowa Pipeline Leak

HANLONTOWN, Iowa (AP) — An Oklahoma-based company has blamed an errant excavator for damaging a pipeline in northern Iowa that spilled nearly 47,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Magellan Midstream Partners released a statement Tuesday saying the excavator apparently didn’t check with regulators about th..

Technology Gives Utilities and Pipeline Operators Cost-Effective Way to Improve Safety

AyaWorks, a provider of effective pipeline safety and compliance management solutions for oil, gas and utility companies, has announced that their systems are approved and can be implemented immediately, in accordance with recent pipeline safety regulation amendments. The company offers utility com..

Many Positives From Common Ground Alliance DIRT Report

The latest Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) report released in October 2016 by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) contained the good news that efforts to reduce accidental damage to the nation’s underground utility infrastructure and build awareness of the free 811 service are making significa..

Worker Killed in Sewer Trench Collapse

WEST NEWTON, Pa. (AP) – Authorities say a trench collapse at a western Pennsylvania property has killed a man working at the site. The Westmoreland County coroner’s office said 18-year-old Adam Skokut Jr. was installing a sewer pipe at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the property in South Huntingdon T..

Judge: PG&E Must Run Ads Publicizing Pipeline Safety Convictions

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday sentenced California’s largest utility to pay a $3 million fine and run television commercials publicizing its pipeline safety convictions as punishment in a criminal case stemming from a deadly natural-gas explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area. U...

Judge Delays Sentencing PG&E for Natural Gas Explosion

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge says he is inclined to require Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to mention its convictions in ads and have employees do thousands of hours of community service as part of its sentence in a criminal case stemming from a deadly natural gas explosion in the San Francisco ..

PG&E Found Guilty of Violating Pipeline Safety Regulations

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. says it is prepared to pay the maximum fine of $3 million after a jury convicted the company of deliberately violating pipeline safety regulations before a deadly natural gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area. But California’s largest u..

Poisonous Manhole Fumes Claim Lives of 3 Utility Workers

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — Three underground utility workers have died while investigating a sewage backup. According to Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark, one of the men working for the county’s contractor, Douglas N. Higgins, went down a drainage manhole Monday morning to investigate why a newly ..

Contractor Perspectives On Gold Shovel Standard

by Eben M. Wyman Gas distribution construction work is booming as local distribution companies (LDCs) continue to aggressively replace old cast iron and unprotected steel piping with superior polyethylene pipe. Transmission pipeline operators continue to build the necessary infrastructure to move t..

Years After Law, Kansas Underground Utility Notification System Starts

TOPEKA (AP) — It’s been more than a decade since lawmakers passed a law requiring the formation of an entity to lead underground utility notifications and safe digging in Kansas, and it will be another two years before that group is expected to be operational. The Kansas Corporation Commissio..

PHMSA Appoints 24 Members to Pipeline Safety Working Group

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today appointed 24 members to the pipeline safety Voluntary Information-Sharing System (VIS) Working Group. The newly created advisory committee that will provide the Secretary of Tran..

Efficiency Production Adds New International Dealer In Singapore

Efficiency Production, a leading manufacturer of trench shielding and shoring equipment, has added Singapore-based United Shoring Specialists to its international dealer network. “The construction industry in Southeast Asia is one of outdated excavation safety equipment,” said Raul Felman, Efficien..

Firefighters Rescue Worker from Kansas City Trench Collapse

KANSAS CITY (AP) — A federal agency is investigating after firefighters had to rescue a man trapped in a mud trench at a Kansas City work site. OSHA says an employee of Hydro Tech Plumbing was injured after the trench he was working in collapsed. The worker was repairing underground sewer lines in ..

OSHA Issues Best Practices to Promote Workplace Safety and Health Programs in Construction

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction to help industry employers develop proactive programs to keep their workplaces safe. The recommendations may be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized contractor..

OSHA Cites Company for Safety Violations in Worker's Death

OSHA has cited an Ohio company after a 33-year-old employee was crushed to death in June 2016 as he was digging soil out of a 12-foot trench when the trench walls around him collapsed. He is one of 23 workers killed, and 12 others who reported injuries in trench collapses in 2016. Trench collapses ..

OSHA to Hold Pipeline Safety Meeting

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health’s OSH Professionals Pipeline Work Group. The meeting will be Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr...

Initiative Boosts Excavation Safety Program To Combine Certification, Performance Monitoring

by Jeff Griffin Senior Editor A new initiative to prevent damage to buried underground utility infrastructure is gaining acceptance and momentum, believes Rick Galyean, administrator of the Gold Shovel Standard program. Galyean describes the Gold Shovel Standard as a first-of-its-kind safety pr..

Engineering Trench Safety Critical Aspect Of Project Success, Costs

Any project that includes excavation is going to require shielding and shoring to prevent excavation walls from collapsing. For large projects, the design and installation of shielding and shoring is itself an extensive project within the project. Manufacturers and suppliers agree that shielding an..

PG&E Becomes First Natural Gas Utility to Obtain Process Safety Certification

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has successfully passed a comprehensive gas safety audit and has been certified to the chemical industry’s RC14001® management system standard. The audit reviewed numerous end-to-end safety processes at the company, ultimately approving PG&E as the first utili..

Building A Culture Of Safety

Third In A Series Construction organizations with positive safety records establish and implement programs designed to eliminate job-site injuries. However, there is another element that appears to set the most safety-conscious companies apart – a culture of safety that permeates the organization ..

Reminder: August 11 is National 811 Day

With National 811 Day happening this week, here are some more activities and events that are helping to promote the toll-free, call-before-digging phone number and its important damage prevention message: An inaugural 811 Block Party will take place from 4 to 7 pm on Thursday, Aug. 11 in the Kans..

Nearly Half Of Homeowners Who Dig Are At Risk

In support of National 811 Day on Aug. 11, a Common Ground Alliance (CGA) survey found nearly half (45 percent) of American homeowners who plan to dig this year for projects like landscaping, installing a fence or mailbox, or building a deck, pond or patio, will put themselves and their communities ..

8/11 is National 811 Day

The 11th day of the eighth month of the year, serves as a natural reminder about the important safety message to call 811 before every digging project, no matter how large or small. The national toll-free number connects professionals and homeowners with their local One-call Center so that buried li..

Heath’s RMLD-IS Is An Eye-safe Laser-based Natural Gas Detector

Heath’s intrinsically safe Remote Methane Leak Detector (RMLD-IS) is an eye-safe laser-based natural gas detector (methane) that can quickly and efficiently detect leaks up to one hundred feet away allowing remote detection of difficult to access places such as; busy roadways, locked yards, undergro..

2nd In A Series: Building A Culture Of Construction Safety

by Jeff Griffin Senior Editor Working in construction carries potential dangers, and the level of danger varies with the type of work being performed – certainly underground construction poses risks specific to that industry. No one wants to get hurt, and owners and managers of construction firms ..

North Dakota Gets $240K for Pipeline Safety Programs

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the state $240,000 for pipeline safety programs. The federal funds were granted to reimburse the state for public safety programs, including inspection and enforcement of pipeline safety regulations, incident investigations and..

Obama Approves Pipeline Safety Legislation

President Obama has signed the PIPES Act into law, which: Reauthorizes various programs of the Transportation Department’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration through FY 2019 Requires DOT to develop minimum safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities ..