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Dig Safe breakfast serving in Lloydminster

“This is a chance to bring our construction oilfield and infrastructure owners together and create a heightened awareness for one morning over breakfast.”

Jeff Mulligan, chief operating officer with ASTEC Safety is dishing on the Dig Safe breakfast event.

April is Dig Safe month in Saskatchewan. With more projects on the go, industry groups are being urged to take steps to avoid contact with underground facilities.

The Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance (SCGA), and Sask 1st Call are hosting Dig Safe breakfasts for contractors with one scheduled for Lloydminster at the Stockade on April 27th.

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Damage data from Saskatchewan DIRT for last year indicate about 38 per cent affected natural gas, 38.5 per cent affected electricity and 23 per cent involved telecommunication facilities. Despite recommendations to call before digging, Saskatchewan has 220 damages in which there was no notification before digging, while Alberta, in 2020, reported no locate damages totalling 416, according to the DIRT report by the CGA.

Mulligan says there are numerous risks associated with damaging buried utilities.

“As we know today, if you cut a fibre optic cable, you hit a pipeline; these are critical infrastructure. There’s risk financially. There’s a risk to health. There’s reputational risk.”

The Common Ground Alliance estimates there is about $1 billion in damages to buried utilities in Canada every year.

Mulligan stresses the importance of education and creating that awareness as they host the breakfast along with industry partners. They will have some video presentations during breakfast and a talk show styled panel discussion to follow.

“We’re going to have a couple of prominent experts in the field of safe digging. We are going to chat with them in a talk show format for 20-30 minutes and throw the floor open for questions.”

He says they will wrap with a hands-on demonstration led by Sask 1st Call with the “Click Before You Dig” and their new system to locate buried facilities.

Doors open at 7 a.m. and breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. Registration information is online.

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