For Miller Pipeline, Damage Prevention & Safety Tops Core Values

Damage Prevention And Safety
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | January 2014, Vol. 69 No. 1

Huddles
“On every project, daily “Planning Huddles” are held to identify the plan for the day and any potential risks. Monthly crew meetings are held to review the contents of our safety newsletter. Quarterly safety meetings address corporate and regional safety concerns. All scheduled meetings are required to begin with a safety message. In addition, leadership and task training are provided to potential foremen. OSHA 10 to 30-hour training is provided to all executives, managers and superintendents,” Miller pointed out.

“Employees are encouraged to report near-miss incidents as part of their safety bonus. An ‘Injury Hotline’ has been established for all injuries to be reported immediately. All accidents are thoroughly investigated and preventative measures are identified and implemented. Leading causes of injury become focal points of the Job Site Safety Observations and are shared throughout the company. All foremen are evaluated on Job Site Safety Observation scores as part of their safety bonuses.

“Miller crews operate many different types of equipment on our projects and receive training for using specialized equipment on various projects,” he continued. “New hire orientation has been modified to include using the national 811 One-Call number, the tolerance zone, protecting other utilities when digging, surveying job sites for other utilities before excavation and spotting utilities by hand digging or with vacuum excavation.

“Training for all foremen and supervisors includes proper use of line locators and damage prevention/risk management. Financial resources are committed towards purchasing special equipment to help eliminate identified risks. We utilize a fleet of more than 100 vacuum excavators to help our crews identify buried utility lines. We use small trailer-mount units that operate on air or water, medium sized truck-mount vac rigs and large hydro-excavators.

“Each construction crew is supplied with a line locator to help validate utilities that have been marked, as well as privately-owned facilities. In addition to regular training, operators of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) equipment receive annual training, usually conducted by the manufacturer that includes safe operation and identifying existing utilities. A large portion of HDD operator training relates to the elimination of sewer lateral crossbores,” Miller said.