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LaHood, Associated General Contractors promote pipeline safety

A continuing concern for traffic managers is planning safety programs around potentially dangerous pipeline construction sites. With pipeline jobsite safety in mind, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) recently partnered with Secretary of the Department of Transportation Ray LaHood to hold a press conference on the importance of underground damage prevention.

The event was held at the association member company Skanska’s jobsite in the Washington, D.C., metro area, where Skanska offered LaHood a tour of the jobsite, and Washington Gas demonstrated utility locating tools.

AGC CEO Steve Sandherr opened the event with the contractors’ point of view.

“Every day many of our 33,000 member firms are likely to begin excavations at projects like this,” AGC CEO Steve Sandherr said. “Yet while this field is empty, there is no telling how many lines and the risks they pose lie beneath. Contractors have an obligation to call 811 before excavating a site like this.  Utility firms have an obligation to identify and flag where their lines are.  And all of us have a responsibility to dig safely so construction workers can get home to their families at the end of the day.”

LaHood stressed that safety is DOT’s top priority, and pipeline safety was no different. He further urged everyone doing any kind of digging to call 811 first, wait for locators to identify buried facilities, and dig with care.