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

OUNC works with Governor to proclaim April, 2010 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 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.

View Proclamation(PDF)

Call Before Digging to Avoid Underground Utility Lines

call-beforeDid 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

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

OUNC participates in 2009 GOSH Conference

GOSH-ConfOUNC 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!

Oregon Site of Northwest Regional Locate Rodeo

(From the July/ August issue of Underground Focus Magazine)

spotlight-stagingIn Oregon, 29 utility locate professionals demonstrated their skills in the third annual Northwest Regional Utility Locate Rodeo held June 6-7 at Linfield College in McMinnville, Or.

Participants had 12 minutes to complete a locate in one of four divisions including Gas, Electric, Water, and Communications. A bonus event, “Locate from Hell”, further challenged their skills with only three minutes to locate what could be any type of utility.

The event is under the leadership of Chairperson Jamie Stencil of Comcast. Stencil and a dedicated committee supported by the Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC) gathered a group of 58 volunteers to make the event a success. The OUNC board decided in 2006 to host the event in Oregon to give West Coast folks a chance to experience an event that recognizes those within the locating industry for their professionalism and often demanding job. First-place winners in each division received $500 in prize money and $1300 towards their trip to the International Rodeo in Atlanta. Prizes were also awarded to second and third place locaters in each division, as well as first-place in the Locate from Hell.

spotlight-gas-commAs part of the educational portion of the Northwest Rodeo, Paul Larkin, an instructor with Staking University in Manteno, Ill., had a packed house for his full day class on the day before the competition. “We received great feedback from everyone who attended the seminar. Paul did a great job,” Stencil said. “One city employee said that he got so much out of the class that he was going to sign up his entire department next year.” Stencil and Kimberly Lakey, administrative assistant at OUNC, noted that all participants and volunteers had positive comments about the event. “They noted that it was well organized and smooth running, but very challenging,” Stencil said.

spotlight-powrStencil also praised his committee members for their dedication and hard work. “As the event grew closer, I didn’t feel the pressure that I had felt in the years past because of all the hard work of the committee members. They took on a huge work load for the event on top of their existing jobs,” he said.

All in all, Stencil called this one of the best rodeo events to date. “The event is important to bring notoriety to the locators who have a tremendous responsibility marking accurately to save lives,” he said. “It is a chance for locaters to show off their locating skills while creating a competitive motivation to better their accuracy and skills.”

Plans are underway for the 2009 event!!!!!!!