PLanet Underground Episode 12: 17 Common Sense Heroes
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Episode 12: 17 Common Sense Heroes

Planet Underground President, Mike Parilac, narrates the story of those individuals and companies doing damage prevention right – safely, the first time, and every time. These are the “common sense heroes” for underground utility excavation. How they conduct their work is instructional for everyone in the underground utility world.

“The US damage prevention system depends on 100% of the people doing the right thing 100% of the time, all the time, through the duration of every single project. Think about that.” – Mike Parilac, Episode 12.

Some fiber optic installation projects, now more frequent and pervasive than ever, can be years in the making, and cover huge metropolitan areas. Making sure line locates are done properly and accurately is more critical than ever.

One misstep in locating and/or directional boring can lead to tragic accidents, such as occurred in 2018 in Sun Prairie WI, Homerville GA and Canton IL. Mike Parilac reads from the National Transportation Safety Board report on Canton IL and reveals what went into the minds of laborers on the jobsite when interviewed on this tragic explosion. Common sense did not prevail.

Steps such as site documentation and pre-construction meetings are important tools for underground damage prevention. Common sense heroes include those contractors that double check jobsite locate marks are made and made accurately, using potholing and hand digging to expose all utility lines, and making sure equipment is in proper working order and all construction crew members are well trained.

Checking for cross bores into sewer laterals using sewer cams are additional tools that common sense heroes utilize to avoid damages, and in particular, inadvertently puncturing hazardous gas lines underground.

Exposing all marked lines with potholing on a project to the depth of your planned excavation is better than exposing some or none at all. In heavily congested or populated areas, potholing becomes even more critical. Hand digging and vacuum excavation are common sense tools used in exposing underground utilities.

17 Common Sense Heroes share their stories and experience on the right path to zero damages.

The fundamentals of what needs to happen, that never changes. And we ask, why don’t excavators get maps? Why aren’t locate marks always double checked?

Anyone, at any time, any place, can be a common sense hero for damage prevention and take that important step to save lives.

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