On 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.
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 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
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 Kulongoski to issue a proclamation naming April 2010 “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.
Did you know it’s the law to find out where buried pipes, wires and cables are located before you dig? I didn’t. It’s free. And if you don’t find out and then damage an underground utility line, you’ll have to pay to get it repaired. Eeek. I’d say a quick call to 811 is worth it. You can also go online to digsafelyoregon.com.
Once I get started on a project, I don’t want to stop. But, you’ve got to admit, this is a small thing and you can do it anytime. The line is open 24/7. You do have to plan ahead, though. It’ll take them two days to come out and mark anything you have to avoid.
We’re not talking about planting perennials or shrubs (unless they’re big), but digging a deeper hole for a tree or pond or pool or such, requires a call. Make sure any contractors or excavators you hire pick up the phone or go online. Again, no matter who does the work, you’ll be liable.
The 811 call will be answered by One Call Center of Oregon and Southwest Washington located in Portland. The center will notify the appropriate local utilities that then send the necessary crews to mark the area free of charge. It’s that easy.
Posted by kpokorny April 29, 2009 06:12AM
Article published on OregonLive.com
OUNC Board members Anita Floyd (Qwest), Gary Hyatt(NW Natural) and Jennifer Carter (Emery & Sons) staff the Oregon Dig Safely booth on opening day at the Portland Convention Center for the GOSH (Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health) Conference held March 10-11, 2009 in Portland, Oregon.
Over 2,000 employers, safety and health professionals, safety committee members, line supervisors, manufacturers, and distributors were registered to attend this year’s conference. Conference attendees go to various seminars throughout the two day conference to gain state of the art knowledge and skills in occupational safety and health programs.
The Oregon GOSH conference is considered the largest safety and health conferences in the West, and one of the largest in the United States!