Midwest ENERGY Association (MEA) announces a new free excavation safety training website. The Federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) reports that excavation damage is a great concern in pipeline failures. More than 6 million construction workers and millions of homeowners dig, trench, and excavate, often unaware of the hazards posed by underground utility lines or cave-ins.
Patrick Van Beek, MEA President explains, "MEA believes excavation related fatalities and injuries are preventable. That's why MEA members are sponsoring our free excavation safety website diggingsafely.com." The training is free and available to anyone with access to the Internet.
"Road, sewer, water, cable, telephone, fencing, swimming pool, basement, landscape, and irrigation contractors are all excavating. Any one of them, or even a homeowner, could create a safety hazard if they do not call before they dig and if they do not know how to safely work around buried utility lines," continued Van Beek.
diggingsafely.com is a tool for contractors, public officials, and homeowners to learn about:
- Excavation safety -- who & when to call before digging, hazards and safe practices when working around buried power and gas lines.
- Abnormal operating conditions.
- Preventing accidental ignition if a gas line is damaged.
- Characteristics and hazards of natural gas.
- Working in enclosed and confined spaces.
- Hazardous emergency response.
Other features and benefits of the site:
- Records course use -- help for Pipeline and Utility DOT Integrity Management Compliance including the proposed Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP).
- Supports State One Call System efforts and excavation safety programs of pipelines and utilities.
MEA will contact state one-call offices nationwide offering to create links so that anyone wanting training can access the diggingsafely.com site. One-call systems will be able to track use of diggingsafely.com in their state.
"Midwest Energy Association is now a national OQ solutions provider dispensing training and qualification materials to over 800 associate entities," DOT Report to Congress, December 2006.
"Diggingsafely.com expands our commitment to worker safety and damage prevention by offering excavators outside our industry the benefit of our quality training. For over 10 years, we have provided pipelines and utilities with DOT compliance materials. We mined our extensive 200 plus course library to find courses that any excavator or homeowner can use to keep themselves safe and cause less damage to underground utility systems," offered Larry Murray, MEA's OQ Team Leader. "We offer the industry a complete system of Comprehensive Energy Records and Compliance (CERC) tools through energyu.org and our other CERCsolution products.
Midwest ENERGY Association is in its second century of service to the gas, electric, and liquids energy industry. MEA products are designed by and for its member companies. Its problem solving roundtables, learning conferences, online learning and web communications services are relied on by over 750 companies in all 50 states. MEA is headquartered in Eagan, MN.