We’re all familiar with Superman. He has heat vision….and of course, he has x-ray vision. The latter would make him a very strong candidate for best underground utility locator or best excavator ever!
Being able to “see” what’s underground before digging is critical to public and personal safety, not to mention commerce. Imagine someone digging up the fiber optic cables supporting your local bank!
This is why the Damage Prevention Councils of Texas, in partnership with Texas811 and utility members such as Atmos Energy, CoServ Electric, Texas Gas Service and others sponsor and promote Safety Day events. In fact, two such events were held last week – in Corinth, Texas and in College Station, Texas.
Attended by approximately 500 guests, the event in Corinth was held at the CoServ Electric training facility.
Industry vendors had tables with their products, and equipment operators could show off their skills with a “backhoe rodeo” in which they used their heavy equipment to pick up small object and compete in skill games.
However, the highlight of these events was the mock gas line strike demonstration. This event shows what happens when a gas line is struck by mechanized digging equipment. For safety sake, the line was pressurized with air to show how gas would escape into the atmosphere. Attendees formed a semi-circle around the demonstration, which included an accidental electrocution as workers dug down to expose the damaged gas line and cut into buried electrical cables. That brought out the EMS truck.
These scenarios give everyone involved a stark realization of the hazards involved in digging without having buried lines located first. To take it even further – by the time we got to the end of this half day event in Corinth, our host, CoServ, reported that three of their lines had been struck in the real world. Atmos Energy records about ten hits on their lines each day.
Are these kind of events important? You bet they are. They’re a great way for excavators and utility workers to brush up on their skills – especially the all-important “call 811 first” skill!
In other news – you may remember that a few weeks ago I started working on a 1959 German radio. Here’s the latest picture. The yellow cylinders and shiny brown and black items on the right side of the picture are new capacitors. The tan colored objects on the left side of the picture are original wax and paper capacitors awaiting replacement. So far I’ve replaced 15 of the 17 wax and paper capacitors with the much safer and more reliable new versions!
Now to the bad news (for me): weight time! The last time I posted weight was two weeks ago – and I was at 212.6 pounds. Today’s weight is: 213.2. Sigh.
Until next week, safe digging!