One-Call Law changes around the country impact facility operators & excavators alike
From New Mexico to Pennsylvania, Iowa to Michigan, significant changes are taking effect to One-Call laws across the US. A number of these updated laws include positive response, requiring all newly buried facilities to be locatable, and strengthened enforcement and penalties. While new rules will improve the safety of excavators as well as the general public, these new laws do not come without opposition or controversy.
In Pennsylvania, the newly proposed rules include mandatory One-Call membership, eliminates all exemptions including DOT, but does not remove all agricultural exemptions. The rule has been met with strong opposition from conventional drillers and those operating shallow gathering lines. Opponents believe these low pressure, small diameter pipelines do not pose a significant safety risk. Regulators, operators, and advocacy groups like the PIOGA continue to try and find an amicable solution.
Iowa’s new law requires operators to provide ticket status information to the States Electronic Positive Response System (EPRS). The new EPRS is the only method allowed for transmitting ticket status to excavators and is intended to provide a consistent notification method, improving communications. Having personally just done some tree removal on my own property, I can say having received an email “all-clear” from CenturyLink did put me at ease.
New Mexico has also made positive response mandatory, as well as white lining and damage reporting. The PRC and NM811 have worked together to institute the state’s Damage Reporting and Enforcement Tracking System (DRETS) where all involved parties can submit information about damages. Every damage is investigated by the PRC to determine if there were any violations and to help identify the root cause. Fully understanding why things happen is the only way to stop them from recurring.
Any time there is change, there is resistance and confusion. Good communications with regulators and One-Call centers will insure that these new laws that are intended to improve safety, have the desired effect.
Locator Safety Awareness Week
One of the most hazardous jobs on the ROW is pipe and cable locating. Locators face racing traffic, hazardous terrain, stinging insects, biting dogs and other dangers as part of their daily routine. Often times these men and women must perform their jobs in the worst weather conditions, over long hours, with little thanks. This year the Damage Prevention Professional magazine, the National Utility Locating Contractor Association (NULCA) and other organizations are promoting Locator Safety Awareness Week (LSAW). LSAW is right around the corner, June 22-28. Locators play a critical role in the safe excavation process and their own safety is frequently taken for granted. The goal of Locator Safety Awareness week is to help remind us all about the hazards locators face and to do our part in keeping them safe, as they do for us.
If you’re interested in getting involved, there are free online tools that you can use such as a downloadable Top 10 Locating Hazards poster, safety cards, web buttons, and more.
More Information: http://www.dp-pro.com/locator_safety_awareness_week.php
iStretch Locator Leads
The first thing to break down while running locator equipment (outside of the person running the machine) are the locator lead wires. Locators rely on their equipment to work through years of heavy use and abuse, but the lead wires have long been the weak link. Rhino continues to push innovation through the world of damage prevention, and we are proud to announce RhinoWire iSTRETCH Locator Leads. Our leads employ technology designed for the battlefield, so they can withstand any abuse dished out on the ROW.
RhinoWire iSTRETCH Locator Leads have been created to outperform the industry standard in every category. The goal is to provide users with a product that will never fail. RhinoWire iSTETCH Locator Leads are strong, can take an incredible impact, and are tangle resistant. Please contact your manufacturer of choice or let me know if you need more information.
As always, if you ever have a unique challenge or unusual request, please don’t hesitate to let me know. At Rhino, we help YOU save lives.
Damage Prevention Consultant
Director of Sales