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Western provinces promote one-call utility locate service

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by Richard Gilbert

In response to the growing number of natural gas line hits, organizations in both B.C. and Alberta have launched public awareness campaigns.

In response to the growing number of natural gas line hits, organizations in both B.C. and Alberta have launched public awareness campaigns.

In Alberta, ATCO Gas launched a province-wide campaign last month that aims to curb the number of gas line ruptures.

Contractors can call Alberta One-Call to find out where the gas lines are buried, but the utility company is still trying to get the word out.

“Safety is a core value for our customers, the public, our employees, contractors and our company which are being put at risk on a daily basis because someone has not made the call for line locations,” said ATCO Gas president Brian Hahn.

“Each time a gas line is hit there’s potential for tragedy and we are especially asking excavators to take the time to call for a line location to ensure everyone’s safety.”

The Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance (ORCGA) has previously spearheaded local one-call awareness and explained the possible dangers found underground in Ontario when contractors dig. The ORCGA currently has an open invitation to anyone interested in joining one of its six geographic councils.

The council areas (and its headquarter cities) are Niagara (Hamilton), North West (Thunder Bay), South (Chatham), North East (Sudbury), East (Ottawa) and West (Waterloo). The geographic councils are designed both to increase memberships via local contacts and assist with damage prevention stakeholder summits as well.

By using billboards, transit bus wraps and radio spots, ATCO Gas is urging anyone planning excavation to use Alberta One-Call.

The BC Safety Authority recently conducted a pilot project called Can You Dig It? which combines the systematic collection of data with the education of excavators and the general public on safe digging practices.

In July, a safety officer with Terasen gas attended 38 incidents as part of the project.

The BCSA is working on a root cause analysis that will be released in a report later this year.

— with files from Vince Versace

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