Safety, Gas Pipe Protection Top Topics at Annual O&R Contractor Meeting

O&R stressed its requirements for safe construction and workplace practices, and re-emphasized the necessity for workers to take every precaution to prevent damage to O&R’s underground facilities at its annual job briefing for area contractors yesterday.

Approximately 50 people attended the morning-long session at O&R’s Spring Valley Operations Center. In addition to safety and damage prevention discussions, they also were provided information on policies and practices concerning environmental regulations, contract bidding, worker training and future projects.

Since 1997, O&R has replaced two million feet of gas pipe and plans to replace another 110,000 feet of gas main in 2016, 115,000 feet in 2017 and 120,000 feet in 2018.

One of O&R’s chief safety concerns in the operation of its natural gas system is damage to its underground natural gas lines. Most of that damage comes from excavators who fail to request utility company ground markings to guide them safely past those mains and services. Those markings --- paint on the ground or small color-coded flags --- show the location of gas mains and service lines and other underground facilities.

One toll-free call to the utility notification service at 811 can help to get an excavation project safely underway. The utility notification service contacts O&R and the company will mark the location of its underground electric and gas facilities at no charge. The 811 service also will notify other utilities (telephone, cable, sewer and water) to mark their facilities as well.

Anyone doing excavating work, regardless of the depth, including contractors, landscapers and homeowners must call 811 at least two, but not more than 10, working days before the project is due to begin.

If you smell gas, immediately evacuate the area and call 911, O&R’s Gas Emergency Hotline at 1-800-533-LEAK (1-800-533-5325), or your local gas utility. You can report gas leaks anonymously.

For more details about working safely around O&R’s underground and overhead equipment, see our Web site at www.oru.com. For more information about the 811 One-Call Notification System, visit the www.call811.com website.

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