Underground utility locators are critical stakeholders in the damage prevention process. They are responsible for identifying and marking the locations of all facilities potentially in conflict with a proposed ground disturbance. There are various ways for a utility locator to accomplish this, including direct connection (conduction) and passive (induction) electromagnetic locating. These are versatile methods of locating buried utilities, but how does this technology work?
“Time flies” is the biggest understatement of our lives. We don’t feel like we’re aging (well, most of the time we don’t) but when we catch a glimpse of our reflection in a window or mirror, especially when we’re not expecting it, we see ourselves how we truly are. Inside, we feel the same as we always did but on the outside, our appearances are changing. We’re older, greyer, slower, and more cautious.
The second draft of proposed Damage Prevention Legislation for Alberta was posted for comment in early June for a period of 30 days. The most recent draft included improvements suggested by stakeholders who reviewed the 1st draft a few months back and with our ongoing objective of transparency for this process, USP posted its response to all comments received whether they were incorporated or not.
Times Square in New York City is one of the busiest and most congested intersections in North America. Everywhere you look, there are throngs of people moving about, street entertainers, New York’s finest, oodles of advertising and at night, the lights are so bright you almost need shades! A few years back, I had the unique happenstance of being in Times Square while buried infrastructure beneath the intersection was exposed for road upgrades. For someone like me who has worked in the buried utility industry for decades, it was an eye-opening experience. I mean, I do know what’s below and have spent the better part of my adult life promoting safe work around buried energy and utility assets. But this? This was stunning!
Facility owners registered with Utility Safety Partners (USP members) supply the locations where they need to be notified of a proposed ground disturbance. This is called ‘member data’ and it is plotted on the system basemap. The dig site for each locate request is also plotted on the basemap. Whenever the mapped dig site overlaps with member data, that member company receives a locate notification.
Buried energy and utility owners that have registered the location of their underground infrastructure with Utility Safety Partners are currently receiving correspondence informing them of their 2023 Annual Member Fees (AMF) which will be payable beginning January 2023.
Okay, the utility owners have marked your site where you intend to dig if they have buried lines below using flags and paint. They have left you with a document as well called a ‘Locate Slip’. You are clear on how to dig safely and understand the responsibilities as a ground disturber. But, what if other things come up and you’re not actually ready to dig. How long do you have before needing refresh the request? What is the process?
While Agents feel less heat on the phones (and more in the sun!), it is usually in June and July that we tend to receive the highest reports of what are known internally as “Damages”; that is, reports from those in the field about either a damaged or unexpectedly found underground utility. Sometimes these are reported to us by the excavator themselves after they accidentally contact infrastructure resulting in a gas leak, severed telecommunications cable, or exposed electrical line. Other times, they are reported by a concerned citizen who comes across a cable staking out of the ground in an empty field or road ditch while they are out walking their dog.
Are you planning excavation projects this year? Maybe a new fence? A large commercial project? For the lucky ones, a pool maybe? Not sure what you need to do? Well good news! In June 2022, Utility Safety Partners welcomed a new Safety Ambassador to the Calgary region: Mitch Mielnichuk. Mitch joins our team with over ten years of experience in construction safety. He has successfully led multiple projects and cultivated a positive health and safety culture throughout the construction sites he has worked on. His passion for sharing knowledge and helping protect both people and infrastructure is a perfect fit for the Safety Ambassador role.
After two years hosting virtual damage prevention awareness and education events, the Canadian Common Ground Alliance is anxious to welcome everyone to Whistler, British Columbia October 25 through 27 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for the Damage Prevention Symposium! While it’s actually the 10th anniversary of our first Symposium in Kananaskis, Alberta, it doesn’t really feel that way given the past two COVID years. All the more reason to reconnect!
After two years hosting virtual damage prevention awareness and education events, the Canadian Common Ground Alliance is anxious to welcome everyone to Whistler, British Columbia October 25 through 27 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for the Damage Prevention Symposium! While it's actually the 10th anniversary of our first Symposium in Kananaskis, Alberta, it doesn't really feel that way given the past two COVID years. All the more reason to reconnect!