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Demo Day Allows Construction Industry to Showcase Underground Safety Equipment, Practices

HYATTSVILLE, MD — The Distribution Contractors Association (DCA) recently participated in a multi-industry event that showcased underground construction safety equipment and practices for some representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The event, referred to by industry reps as OSHA Demo Day, was hosted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), and representatives of several national construction associations.

The event was conducted at a large construction training site in Hyattsville, Maryland, and featured six stations, including:

Utility Locating and Marking: Description of how an underground facility locate is processed; definition and scope of an appropriate one-call ticket; and the process of “white lining.”

Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) Operations: Demonstration of how directional drills are setup and safely operated; HDD functionality and why trenchless methods are utilized; and demonstration of tracking bores.

Trench Safety #1: Demonstration of trench safety from a contractor’s perspective; review of confined space entry requirements and practices; review of soil types; and varying trench boxes.

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Trench Safety #2: In-depth demonstration of trench safety equipment, including steel trench boxes, aluminum boxes, and hydraulic shores; discussion of when one is preferable to another; and proper installation practices.

Vacuum Excavation: Description and background of development of vacuum excavation; reasons for utilizing vacuum excavation; various types of vacuum trucks; role of hand digging; and specifications and terminology.

Contractor Safety Programs: Overview of use and importance of tabulated data when selecting protective systems for trenching and excavation; incident and damage reporting; response to incidents; and damage prevention.

“DCA believes that safety is paramount in any construction project, but this is especially true with underground projects,” said Rob Darden, Executive Vice President at DCA. “Gas distribution contractors know the hazards that come with the job, and we appreciate the opportunity to show OSHA the latest and greatest equipment, technologies, and practices related to underground construction projects. We thank AEM for hosting this important event.”

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