Oregon State Seal

OUNC works with Governor to proclaim April, 2012 Safe Digging Month

As part of the national effort to raise awareness of safe digging practices, and encourage the use of 811 to request locates of underground facilities, the Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC) board of directors worked with Governor Kitzhaber to issue a proclamation naming April 2012 “Oregon Safe Digging Month”. In the proclamation the Governor has asked people to call 811 at least two business days before digging to insure all essential underground utilities are located before excavating.

The board would like to thank the Governor for his support and hopes everyone will use the free call to 811 prior to starting any digging project.

View Proclamation

811 bike - Paul Jr. Designs

811 Damage Prevention Bike by Paul Jr. Designs

One Call Concepts, Inc. (OCC) commissioned Paul Jr. Designs to create the 811 Damage Prevention Bike. The 811 Bike was unveiled at the 2011 Greater Chesapeake Damage Prevention Training Conference November 2, 2011, in Ocean City, Maryland.

A second unveiling will take place at the Common Ground Alliance Conference scheduled for March 6-8, 2012 at the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. (www.cgaconference.com)

The 811 bike will appear on American Chopper February 20 and 27, 2012.

8/11 Day Campaign – Cake Delivery – What is a big celebration without a cake?

This past year, OUNC spent $40,000 worth of advertising promoting Call 811 on Northwest Radio in particular on the Lars Larson show. On behalf of the Board of Director’s, Adam Franco, of the One Call Center was interviewed on the show. By using the pilot initiative used by Indiana 811 to look for a fresh way to get the media’s interest on August 11, OUNC delivered 8/11 Day cakes. Along with the cakes, OUNC provided information on the 811 program to the radio station to help spread the word. The idea for cakes came from knowing how early morning radio people wake up and how eager they are to get some food during their shifts. Also, the cakes showcased utility markings as well as the 811 logo and were made by a local family owned bakery in SE Portland called His Bakery. His Bakery is also joining in the promotion of the 811 program by providing Dig Safely materials for their customers on their counters. The board also recognized and thanked the staff of the One Call Center with a cake of their own for all their hard work and commitment to being part of the national effort to raise awareness of safe digging practices, and encourage the use of 811 to request locates of underground facilities and will participate in future 811 Day celebrations. Please listen to the podcast!

Listen to a clip from the Lars Larsen Show

OUNC works with Governor to proclaim April, 2011 Safe Digging Month

As part of the national effort to raise awareness of safe digging practices, and encourage the use of 811 to request locates of underground facilities. The Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC) board of directors worked with Governor Kitzhaber to issue a proclamation naming April 2011 “Oregon Safe Digging Month”. In the proclamation the Governor has asked people to call 811 at least two business days before digging to insure all essential underground utilities are located before excavating.

The board would like to thank the Governor for his support and hopes everyone will use the free call to 811 prior to starting any digging project.


View Proclamation

Locator Training classes filling up fast

The Locator Training classes sponsored by OUNC have filled up quickly. We have held 6 successful classes. 195 Locators have received training.
locator-training
The majority of the costs for these classes are underwritten by the OUNC and are offered to you at only $100 per person. The class is limited to the first 40 registrants, and we are limiting attendees to a maximum of 4 from any one agency. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Your spot is confirmed with your payment.

locator-training2

Locator Training Classes Registration is now open and seats are available for the class in Sunriver on May 10 and 11, 2011 Although registration for the Central Point area class on September 13 and 14, 2011 is not open yet, registration information will be available soon.

GOSH CONFERENCE – 2011

2011-Gosh-ConferenceThere were over 1,500 attendees each day at the Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety & Health Conference held March 7-10, 2011 at the Oregon Convention Center. OUNC’s booth looked great with the addition of our new mascot, Bud, Jr.

For the first time ever at the GOSH Conference, skilled forklift operators competed for cash prizes at the new Columbia Forklift Challenge. The Columbia Forklift Challenge tested the drivers ability to operate a forklift safely during an obstacle course event which was held on Tuesday, March 8. The cash prizes ranged from $200 to $500 and were given to individuals as well as teams. The morning of the event, the drivers received an orientation which was located near the OUNC booth. A group from Boise Packaging of Salem, stopped by to pick up some dig safely materials on their way to orientation. Ruben Medina also picked up one of our popular camouflage hats which he wore during the challenge. It proved to be a good omen for him, not only did he win $500 for taking 1st place in the competition for the individual segment, his team also won the team prize of $450!
forklift-safety

On Wednesday March 9, Gary Hyatt, Damage Prevention Program Supervisor for Northwest Natural Gas and also one of the authors of the Oregon Dig Law along with Bryan Baxter, Compliance Specialist/Damage Prevention Investigator for Northwest Natural Gas presented “Oregon Excavating Law: Protecting Our Workers and the Underground Infrastructure” to 32 students.

811 on the Internet

log-onProcessing locates on the Internet is FUN! No sitting on hold! No waiting for an operator to answer the phone. You can process your requests 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Registering to process your locate requests online is easy. Go to www.callbeforeyoudig.org – click the icon that guides you to the professional excavator area, and then to ITIC (short for INTERNET TICKET). You’ll be guided to a registration page where you’ll enter your email address, phone number, and click on the button to register. Once your request has been processed, you are ready to start processing your locates! You’re provided with a user manual, explaining how to communicate with the computer system, helping to ensure your requests are handled in the most expedient manner. Bingo – before you know it, your fingers are flying. Getting your work done in record time! Because of the time constraints and urgency needed to process EMERGENCY requests, processing EMERGENCY tickets over the Internet is not allowed. But for all, your normal 48 hour request, you’ll find nothing simpler!

The ITIC system is constantly being upgraded with new enhancements and upgrades – improving your input experience. The newest enhancement is “Duplicate a Dig”. By imputing a previously processed ticket number, you can duplicate information from any previous ticket without affecting anything about a previous request. This can be used as a simple ‘cut and paste’ maneuver to save on key strokes, or to transfer a ticket from one contractor to another.

Become a part of the newest technology offered in processing your locate requests! It’s simple, easy, and convenient.

Contractor’s Breakfast

contractor-breakfastA Contractor’s Breakfast sponsored by LBUCC and ELUCC was held at NW Natural’s offices in Albany recently and was a success again this year. This breakfast has been going on annually for the past few years and has provided an opportunity for both utilities and contractors to get together over breakfast to discuss their success over the past year in protecting the local area utilities, and the local Utility Locating Councils show their appreciation for everyone’s efforts in protecting the areas utility services for all of its citizens. The contractor’s breakfast is a joint effort put on by the Linn Benton and East Linn Utility Coordinating Councils. This year there were 117 attendees, including members of the OUNC Board of Directors. It is opportunities and events like this the promote the continued success of the “Dig Safely Oregon” program and allow for additional interaction between utility representatives, field crews and contractors involved in the daily protection of the states utilities. In addition to the great breakfast and fellowship, the member utilities and local utility councils provide raffle prizes for the breakfast. The grand raffle prize of a gas barbecue donated by Williams NW Pipeline was won by Robert Johnson of XL Cable.

OUNC Honors Members’ Service

gary-kevin-awardOn January 13, 2010 the OUNC Board of Directors took some time at their monthly board meeting to honor a couple of their members for service above and beyond the call. Gary Hyatt of Northwest Natural Gas who participated as one of the crafters of the One Call Law retired from the board in November 2009. Gary started his service on the first board of the newly formed OUNC in 1995 and through the years has worked tirelessly to promote the message of digging safely throughout our state. He has served on the Publicity and Education Committee, the Contracts Committee, the Special Services Committee, the Enforcement Committee and the Locator Rodeo Committee. Gary has also spent countless hours providing training on the One Call Law to literally thousands of people involved in excavation throughout the state. We will all miss him at our meetings, but I am sure he will still be involved someway with the Dig Safely effort in our state.

Kevin Stephens was also honored for his contributions over the past two years as Board Chair. Kevin was honored for the great efforts he spearheaded to promote the board’s message to excavators and operators within the state. During his term the board increased the presence of their message through radio and television advertising, placed the message on billboards along I-5 and held several large seminars covering the One Call Law in Medford, Albany and Portland. Kevin still serves as the Electric Utilities representative on the board and is still highly involved in their P&E efforts.

Kids at local pre-school get a lesson on the Oregon One Call Law

kids-lesson1Oregon Dig Law Mini Class:
During a play session within the preschool a couple of the kids were playing in the dirt when one of them yelled “We need to be careful of the electric wires underground.”

One of the teachers is the daughter of NW Natural employee Carmen Giancana who thought that it would be a good idea to see if someone could come talk to the kids about underground utilities. She contacted her mom asking her if she knew of anyone who could do this. Carmen asked if I knew of anyone. I informed her that I did training before and would be happy to set something up with her daughter. I contacted the school we set up a date for me to come out to speak with the kids.

kids-lesson2Kids getting a lesson at a work zoneI put together a couple of fun things for the kids to do as well as an award from Dialer & Digby. On the day I went out to speak to the kids I noticed a sewer crew working around the corner, I stopped to ask if I could bring kids down to see the work zone and talk to them. Tim from Root Excavation agreed. After talking to the kids about safety around a work zone we went on a field trip to the site. We discussed locates, potholing and excavation. After we returned back to the school I gave a talk and demonstration of how the Oregon Dig Law works plus showed them a locater.

My feed back from the school was great.

Donald W Patterson
Risk Environment and Land
NW Natural