Damage Prevention

Meet the Program Development Team

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
How PG&E’s “DiRT Team” Reduced Damages by 33 Percent
Speaker: Jorge Gil-Blanco, DiRT Team Supervisor, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
In the past five years, Pacific Gas and Electric revolutionized its approach to damage prevention. A field team that includes former law enforcement officers has built relationships, improved excavator training, and elevated the art of damage investigation. PG&E employees have become 811 ambassadors. DiRT Team Supervisor Jorge Gil-Blanco will describe how PG&E put it all together to reduce damages by 33 percent.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Make Boring Less Exciting – Strategies for Safer Directional Drilling
Speakers: Jim Walton, Owner, Linescape Directional Drilling
Mike Anderson, President, Ditchwitch
Ian Turnbull, Damage Prevention Representative, FortisBC
The incidence of damages from directional drilling is increasing, and the consequences can be devastating. Three experts, each with a unique point of view, will describe the challenge and what can be done to improve safety. The panel features Jim Walton, Owner, Linescape Directional Drilling, Mike Anderson, President, Ditchwitch and Ian Turnbull, Damage Prevention Representative, FortisBC.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Case Study: High-Quality/High-Cost Locate Services
Speakers: Charlie Gadzik, Customer Safety Communications Manager, Puget Sound Energy
Matt Mullineaux, Manager, Gas Quality Assurance, Avista Utilities
Expectations for locate accuracy are rising. In part one of this two-part session, Charlie Gadzik, Puget Sound Energy public safety manager, will describe the operational improvements that resulted – and the budget pain that was experienced – by moving from a least-cost to a high-quality approach to locating. In part two, Matt Mullineaux of Avista Corp. Corp will describe the auditing and assessment practices Avista uses to raise locate accuracy.

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Will Future Damage Prevention Need Paint or Locators?
Speakers: Brian Collison, Vice President of Sales, Argis Solutions
Brent Pingel, Damage Prevention Supervisor, Whiting Petroleum
Mark Bruce, Vice President, Hydromax USA
Part One: How Whiting Petroleum is using augmented reality to reduce strikes
Excavators working on Whiting installations can now “see” what’s underground to an accuracy of six inches. Brian Collison, Vice President of Sales, Argis Solutions, will be joined by Brent Pingel, a Whiting damage prevention representative supervisor, to describe how damage prevention is already being enhanced by giving excavators and locators a highly accurate, GPS-enabled, virtual reality picture of what’s underground.

Part Two: How GPS-enabled augmented reality could radically change locating
In as soon as six years, every excavator could be holding a smart phone with six-inch GPS accuracy. Utilities with GPS-mapped systems could take advantage of this technology by giving excavators time-limited coordinates and an augmented reality view of the dig area within minutes of the call to 811, all without the need for a locate field visit. Mark Bruce, vice president of Hydromax USA, will describe how a utility could GPS map its system in 6-10 years at a cost that yields 10 dollars of savings for every dollar of investment.