CenterPoint Energy employee award recognizes damage prevention leaders
- By Josh Beach, CenterPoint Energy
CenterPoint Energy created the inaugural CenterPoint Energy Damage Prevention Award to recognize an employee who demonstrates the leadership qualities necessary to drive progress in the damage prevention industry. The first recipient of this inaugural award was James Steck, a damage prevention coordinator in New Braunfels, Texas. James was awarded a custom-made hardhat decorated with the 811 logo and was recognized during a virtual team meeting for the entire damage prevention and public awareness department. During the award announcement, James was praised for achieving measurable results in an efficient and effective manner regarding safety, customer satisfaction, compliance requirements and productivity; ensuring contract locators follow the best practices when marking company facilities; fostering partnerships with local excavators and locators; and collaborating with all levels of company leadership.
CenterPoint Energy’s damage prevention and public awareness department covers nine states: Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas. This award is an extension of the team culture that is built on collaborating with damage prevention partners, as well as sharing and learning proven practices to educate the public and excavators on safe digging.
Dig Safely New York, Inc. enhances one call process with stakeholders
- By Devin R. Negrete, Dig Safely New York, Inc.
Dig Safely New York, Inc. (DSNY) continues to find ways to improve the one call process by working with others in the in industry strategically. This year, the organization housed the Unite Summit hosted by National Grid. At the event, DSNY shared its knowledge, pain points, lessons learned, successes and strategies to help each gas utility/pipeline company reduce damages across New York state with DSNY’s support.
Each utility company in attendance was asked to bring issues and successes they have experienced with supporting data, as well as a sample of public awareness/marketing materials they’ve used to promote safe digging. The design of the workshop was interactive, creative and problem-solving with the goal of reducing damages and solving major excavator issues utilities are facing.
The next steps were to identify areas of opportunity and action items, assign responsibilities and timeframes, discuss a conference call check-in schedule to monitor progress, and schedule another time to collaborate. Overall, attendees said they were happy with the Unite Summit and think it will be beneficial to enhancing the one call process across the state.
Gopher State One Call hosts booth at home and garden show
- By Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts, Inc.
On Feb. 26, Gopher State One Call (GSOC) hosted a booth at the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show, a vibrant marketplace where local professionals promoted home-related products and services, and industry experts connected with homeowners through informative presentations. GSOC spoke with a number of businesses, homeowners and excavators, provided a complete “call before you dig" garden display, and offered free promotional items.
Save the date for Indiana and Kentucky 811’s 2020 Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference
- By Mary Patricia Kindt, Underground Safety Alliance
The Midwest’s largest damage prevention event will be returning for another year! Mark your calendars for the 2020 Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference, occurring Nov. 11-13 at the historic French Lick Resort in idyllic French Lick, Ind.
Conference favorites such as networking events and the welcome reception will be back again in 2020. Plus, look forward to an extensive schedule of educational training sessions, designed for all members of the damage prevention community, from excavators to locators to emergency responders.
Registration for the 2020 MWDPTC will begin in May. To check out the 2019 MWDPTC recap video and learn more about the conference, visit www.midwest811conference.com.
Kansas 811 promotes call-before-you-dig message at local fair
- By Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts, Inc.
The first Harvey County Safety Fair was held March 7 in Newton, Kansas. They had 30 vendors, including Kansas 811, along with 12 emergency agencies that participated in a “touch-a-truck” program. This program allowed attendees of all ages to get a hands-on tour of all the emergency vehicles. They also had an emergency response helicopter fly in and complete a helicopter rescue demonstration. The event had a great turnout, with more than 1,100 people in attendance. Kansas 811 is already looking forward to participating again next year!
Louisiana 811 recognizes locators and spreads safe digging message
- By Amber Dahl and Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts, Inc.
Louisiana 811 awarded the Locators of the Year for 2019, selected from nominations across the state. The winners were Stacey Ehrman from USIC (Contract Locator of the Year), Dennis Washington from DeSoto Parish Waterworks District #1 (Small Company), and Raymond Sonnier from Atmos Energy (Large Company).
Louisiana 811 also participated in the February Louisiana Pipeliners Association dinner meeting in Baton Rouge. Attendees heard an informative presentation about the removal of pipelines on state property and damage prevention given by Steven Giambrone, Director, Pipeline Division for LADNR and Bob Bauman, Bauman & Associates.
During the first week of February, Brent Saltzman and other team members visited St. Amant Middle School for a career day to talk about what Louisiana 811 does and the importance of calling before you dig. Career day is always a fun time and a great opportunity to share the various important roles in the one call industry. Thanks to Mrs. Bourgeois, Mrs. Sharper and Mrs. Green for hosting.
Oregon Utility Notification Center participates in safety summit
- By Amber Dahl, One Call Concepts, Inc.
The Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC) was a proud sponsor of the 2020 Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit in Bend. Hundreds of attendees stopped by the 811 booth, including keynote speaker Matt Pomerinke. OUNC also recently announced the Spanish language release of the Oregon 811 app.