Damage Prevention & Safety

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 ..

Flint-Inspired Water Infrastructure Bill Takes First Step Forward

A Senate committee passed a bill authorizing a new $100 million fund for cities like Flint, MI, which have drinking water emergencies on April 29. The bill also fully funds $70 million (i.e. no separate appropriation is needed) for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Fin..

PG&E fined $24.3M for Poor Record Keeping on Gas Pipelines

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State regulators are seeking $24.3 million in penalties from California’s largest utility for failing to maintain accurate records of its natural gas distribution system. The California Public Utilities Commission said Wednesday that it has already fined Pacific Gas and Electri..

EPA Reaches Settlement with Acme Foundry for Industrial Stormwater Violations

EPA Region 7 reached an administrative settlement with Acme Foundry, Inc to resolve industrial stormwater violations under the Clean Water Act. Under the settlement, Acme Foundry must comply with its industrial stormwater permit, pay a penalty of $28,975, and implement a Supplemental Environmental P..

New Pipeline Safety Proposal Contains Multiple New Requirements

Pipeline industry executives are pouring over the 500-plus page pipeline safety proposal from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), an effort that will take some time before informed comments can be made. The initial comment deadline is at the end of May. “The typical 6..

Northwest Gas Association to Contractors and Homeowners: Call 811 Before Digging

The Northwest Gas Association urges contractors and homeowners to “know what’s below” by calling 811 before digging. Idaho, Oregon and Washington law requires anyone who plans to dig more than 12 inches deep for any reason to call and notify 811 at least two business days prior to digging. Calling 8..

S&N Announces New Director Of Safety and Risk Management

S&N announced the hiring of Jannine Allen as the company’s new Director of Safety and Risk Management. Allen most recently served as the lead health and safety professional at Oconee Nuclear Station’s Major Projects organization in Seneca, SC. Prior to her time at Oconee Nuclear Station, Allen held ..

Slide Rail Shoring System Can Be Used In A Number Of Configurations

The Slide Rail Shoring System from American Shoring is a versatile sheeting system that can be used in a number of different configurations, namely the bore pit configuration, commonly used when contractors need to bore under a roadway, stream, or other obstacle. The Slide Rail System can be used at..