CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo Held in March

Tom Hoff (left) and Bob KippMore than 1,800 people wanting to learn how to improve their company’s bottom line and improve public safety gathered at the CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo in West Palm Beach, Fla., March 12-14.

Professionals from the United States, Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Peru and other locations around the world came together to learn via 65 educational sessions, several keynote speakers, seven workshops, and a variety of committee meetings.

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The CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo formally kicked off with a reception on the trade show floor Tuesday night which gave people a chance to reconnect with colleagues and the opportunity to make new connections.

Cliff Meidl, a construction worker who was severely injured and almost lost his legs when the jack hammer he was operating hit an unmarked electric cable, was one of the keynote speakers. He talked about his amazing recovery and the motivation, which drove him to make the U.S. Olympic rowing team. Eric Giguere has an equally powerful message about safety and responsibility that he shared. Giguere was buried alive in a trench the day before he was to leave on his honeymoon. His decision to go into that unprotected trench on that day permanently changed his life and the lives of his friends, family and co-workers.

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Multiple organizations chose to hold key meetings in conjunction with the CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo in order to increase attendance and reduce the number of meeting-related trips. This year, the North American Telecommunications Damage Prevention Council, The American Petroleum Institute, the National Utility Locate Contractors Association, the American Public Works Association UPROW Committee, the Crossbore Safety Association and the Canadian Common Ground Alliance all held meetings at the event. PHMSA also held a one day public forum on One Call Law Exemptions at the same location.
The eighth annual CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo featured the first ever International Locate Technology Summit hosted by NULCA. The Summit consisted of sessions, workshops, a hands-on outdoor GPR demonstration by various manufacturers and other special events dedicated to showcasing the progress of technological advances and education in the locating industry. Two special events that drew a great deal of attention during the conference were the New Locating Technology Forum and the Underground Safety Summit: Locating in 2020.

On Wednesday, March 13, leading locate equipment manufacturers gathered for the opportunity to introduce their new advances in equipment and technology featured at the trade show. Six manufacturers took advantage of the opportunity of presenting at the New Locating Technology Forum. Participating manufacturers included: Vivax-Metrotech, 3M Locating and Marking, SubSurface Instruments, McLaughlin Group Inc., Sensit Technologies, Radiodetection.

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On Thursday, March 14, a panel of industry experts discussed the future of locating during the Underground Safety Summit: Locating in 2020, sponsored by One Call Concepts, Inc. and Asplundh One-Call, Inc. Panel Members included: Locating in 2020 Panel Members: (Host) Jim Holzer, One Call Concepts, Inc.; Greg Ampey, SMUD; Les Cook, NULCA Australia; Corey Willson, 3M Company; Tim Seelig, USIC Locating Services, Inc.; Dennis Tarosky, Utiliquest; Dave Smith, Vivax-Metrotech Corp.; (Host) Steve Rieben, Asplundh One-Call, Inc. The purpose of the panel was not to explain how to solve the current problems, but to provide insight on what they believe the industry will look like with the development of new technology. They explained that some of the new developments would probably benefit the locator operators and help correct some of the user errors.

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