Damage Prevention & Safety

Water Utility Nears Safety Milestone

Mesa Water District has announced it is approaching four years without a lost time accident due to a robust environmental health and safety program that has helped the district achieve a “gold standard” of safety performance. Mesa Water’s overall safety rating improved 15 percent between 2014 and 2..

Autopsy: Asphyxia From Gas Cause of Man's Death in Sewer Pit

DECATUR, Ind. (AP) — An autopsy has determined that a 40-year-old Indiana man died of asphyxia from toxic gas while working in a sewer pit at a Decatur meat shop. The Adams County coroner on Thursday identified the victim as Justin Manley of Decatur. Another man, Mark Manley, was in critical ..

3 Workers Rescued in Wisconsin Trench Collapse

CUBA CITY, Wis. (AP) – Authorities say three workers have been rescued after being trapped when a trench caved in near Cuba City. Lafayette County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Troy Loeffelholz tells WKOW-TV (http://bit.ly/2tpxs6W ) one worker became trapped Tuesday when one of the walls of the eight-foot..

Steam Pipe Explosion Buckles Street in Downtown Baltimore

BALTIMORE (AP) — An underground steam pipe explosion rocked downtown Baltimore during Tuesday afternoon’s rush hour, buckling the street, shattering windows on cars and buildings, and gushing a plume several stories high for more than an hour, authorities said. Five people suffered injuries that ..

Utility Earns National Safety Award

For the second straight year, Florida Public Utilities Company, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, has received a Safety Achievement Award from the American Gas Association for excellence in employee safety. The selection was based on criteria that included professional and person..

Rice Electronics Launches Connected Worker Solution

Rice Electronics has launched the Connected Worker Solution with Intel® IoT technology. Designed to improve the safety and productivity of field workers in industrial environments, the end-to-end IoT solution using Rice Electronics smart devices along with Intel-based IoT gateways provides robust co..

OSHA Announces Inaugural ‘Safe + Sound Week’

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has designated June 12-18, 2017, as “Safe + Sound Week,” a new nationwide effort that calls on organizations of all sizes in a wide range of industries to raise awareness of the value and importance of workplace safety and ..

Pipeline Developer Under Investigation for Alleged Construction Violations

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which is expected to begin shipping oil to contractors on Thursday, will face scrutiny later this summer over whether it violated North Dakota rules during construction. North Dakota’s Public Service Commission is looking ..

OSHA Probing Trench Collapse that Put Man in Hospital

EMERY, S.D. (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a trench collapse in Emery that put a man in the hospital. Area Director Sheila Stanley tells the Daily Republic (http://bit.ly/2qjshb1) that an OSHA crew was on the scene Thursday. The inquiry comes after a Tues..

Man Buried Alive in Trench Collapse, Saved by Co-workers

EMERY, S.D. (AP) – Authorities say quick intervention by his co-workers likely saved a man buried when a water-sewer trench collapsed in Emery. Fire Chief Brian Leitheiser says that except for the man’s hand, the construction worker was completely covered in dirt Tuesday. He was on a crew from a Fo..

Seattle Firefighter Sues After Injuries from Pipeline Explosion

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle firefighter is suing Puget Sound Energy and one of its contractors, saying he has lingering injuries after being knocked out by a natural-gas explosion that leveled two buildings last year. The Seattle Times reports (https://goo.gl/IAvBLJ ) that 50-year-old Jeff Markoff fil..

Report: Pipeline Incidents Drop 10% in 2016-17 Period

API, along with the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL), released the pipeline industry’s 2017-2019 Pipeline Safety Excellence Strategic Plan and 2016 Performance Report summarizing the industry’s track record on pipeline safety and highlighting the steps pipeline operators are taking to advance sa..

Washington Governor Signs Safe Digging Bill

OLYMPIA, Wash (AP) – Governor Inslee signed a bill designed to save lives, or at least prevent headaches. We’ve all seen the signs: Call before you dig. The worst case scenario for ignoring the warning is tragic: An exploding gas line or thousands of volts of electricity shooting up through a shov..

Pipefitter Killed By Falling Tree Branch

WASHINGTON (AP) — A maintenance worker at the U.S. Capitol has died after a large tree branch fell on top of him. A statement from the Architect of the Capitol, Stephen Ayers, identified the man who was killed as Matthew McClanahan. The statement says McClanahan was working on an irrigation pipe on..

Fort Worth, Atmos Team-Up For Crossbore Prevention

The city of Fort Worth, TX, and Atmos Energy, the area’s gas service provider, are taking a proactive approach to address possible crossbores in the city’s sanitary sewer pipes. Crossbores – an intersection of two or more underground utilities – is an ongoing concern of municipalities across the co..

Digging Safely Starts With A Call To 811

Whether you are a professional excavator, contractor, engineer or utility owner, you play an important role in keeping people safe with every dig. Laws governing excavation vary by state, and they can be confusing. Answering the question, “Do I have to call 811?” can be difficult if you don’t unders..

EM, GPR: Complementary Damage Prevention Technologies

by Daniel Bigman, Ph.D. Damage prevention plays a vital role in underground construction. Identifying existing buried services prior to installing new ones is critical to maintaining site safety and limiting project costs. There are various technologies that assist in detecting and marking buried f..

Fire, Explosion Send Manhole Covers Flying in Boston

BOSTON (AP) — Boston officials believe an underground cable failure was the cause of a fire and explosion that sent two manhole covers flying through the air. No injuries were reported. Authorities responded to a fire Sunday morning near the city hall complex. After they arrived, officials said the..

Illinois American Water Employees Honored

Two Illinois American Water employees were recognized for their construction and safety efforts at the 30th Annual Peoria Area Labor Management Council and Tri-County Construction Labor Management Council award banquet on March 28, 2017. Roger Goodson, Illinois American Water’s senior manager of fi..

New Website Offers Free Safe-Digging Tickets

In honor of National Safe Digging Month this April, PG&E encourages everyone planning excavation projects big and small to get a free safe-digging ticket using a new and convenient tool, 811express.com. Customers, excavators and contractors are urged to take just one minute and use the online servic..

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..