April Declared as Safe Digging Month
Written by Shanna Empey on Wednesday, 01 April 2015
Sask 1st Call app available on Android or Apple devices.
In an effort to promote safe excavation, the month of April is declared as Safe Digging Month.
The Government of Saskatchewan in partnership with Sask 1st Call and the Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance is asking the public to request locates lines prior to doing any underground infrastructure work by calling Sask 1st Call.
Manager of Sask 1st Call, Barb Tchozewski, says Sask 1st Call has launched a mobile app, which allows users to request locates using their Android or Apple device and within two days after the request is made, qualified land locating technicians will be on site.
“This is a great way to give people the flexibility to put locates through wherever they may be,” she said. “As well as a way of adding another tool to it, we incorporated a Google Map layer, where excavators can actually see the Google Map image of where they’re working and draw on the exact specifics of their work site.”
SaskPower, SaskEnergy, and SaskTel saw an overall decrease last year in damages with 707 contacts to buried lines compared to the 1,037 in 2013, due to the Safety Patrol Program. The program was implemented in 2014, where skilled individuals drive around new neighbourhoods in select regions to assist with safe excavation.
“If they see anything potentially going on, they actually stop, get out of their vehicles, have conversations with the individuals who are doing the work to make sure that locates were done prior to excavation and also to ensure that the person who is doing the work understands how to safely work around locate markings,” explained Tchozewski. “It goes through the dig season, which is May 1st through to October 31st where we see a lot of activity.”
The Safety Patrol program will continue to monitor the Regina and Saskatoon regions, while expanding its coverage for 2015 to reach more communities throughout the province including Swift Current, Kindersley, Rosetown, Gravelbourg, Leader, Maple Creek, and Shaunavon.
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