You may or may not be aware, but this is Locator Safety Awareness Week. It runs from June 18 – June 24, 2017.
The men and women who perform the underground utility locates across the United States work hard each and every week, so it’s only right to honor them with their own week.
Summer is one of the toughest times to be a locator in the south and southwest, though those who do the job in the north and northeast would probably say winter, instead.
In any case, performing locates at all hours of the day and night is an often thankless task, but one that’s the first line of defense in protecting our nation’s underground infrastructure.
The next time you see the small, multicolored marker flags stuck in the ground, give a thought to the people who put them there. They routinely work in dangerous places, including traffic intersections.
Here’s the top ten hazards faced by locators:
- Working in confined spaces
- Threats to the eyes
- Climate and weather hazards
- Dog bites
- Punctures and injury to feet
- Poison ivy and other skin threats
- Insect bites and stings
- Walking, lifting, bending and squatting
- Slips, trips and falls
- Working in the road
Reading this, you may think that being a utility locator is all work and no play – but not true!
For the second year in a row, Texas811, in conjunction with underwriting sponsors, will present the International Utility Locate Rodeo June 22 – 24. Vendors will check in and set up shop on June 22 at the Embassy Suites DFW North, 2401 Bass Pro Drive, Grapevine, Texas 76501.
June 23 boasts a full day of events:
Wheel Demo Outside
Advanced Line Locating 102
The actual Rodeo event takes place on Saturday, June 24 from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Cir, Fort Worth, TX and will be followed that evening by a banquet and awards ceremony at the Embassy Suites.
64 competitors from 14 states will see who is the best of the best at their craft. The competition is supported by the efforts of 90 volunteers from 12 states and two countries. Entrants will be timed on a course locating underground Gas, Power, Telecom, Water and the infamous Locate from Hell.
You can get all the information at http://www.locaterodeo.net/ and we’ll have a full recap and list of winners here on Monday, June 26th.
Until next week, safe digging!
By Scott Finley