Safety Focus of the Week: Working around Hazardous Underground Utilities (revisited)
Gas explosions are frequently in the news. They are often very dramatic, and frequently deadly. This week’s news is about the record fines just issued by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities against utility owner PSE&G ($725,000) and their contractor Henkels & McCoy ($600,000) for the deadly 2014 gas strike in Ewing, NJ.
This deadly explosion hits home since we know and have worked with Henkel & McCoy and do the same kind of work in the same kind situations that got them into trouble.
The event illustrates the need for preventive measures and prompt notifications in the event of a strike:
- Dig-Safe notifications
- Understanding Dig-Safe Markings
- Looking for evidence of unmarked utilities
- Confirming utility locations and depths prior to excavation
- Hand excavation within 18 inches of the utility.
- Maintaining Dig-Safe markings and re-calling Dig-Safe as necessary.
ECI has several policies, forms, and references available for working around underground utilities, including:
ECI DigSafe Call-In Form: ECI Employee Web Portal
ECI Digsafe Policy: ECI Employee Web Portal
ECI Incident Response Policy: ECI Employee Web Portal
These documents and references are also available from the ECI Employee Portal.