Page 17 - Tennessee 811 Magazine 2021 Issue 2
P. 17

Event Recap: Lexington Utilities Safety Day
On Wednesday, March 31st,
as a precursor to Safe Digging Month, Tennessee811 partnered with Lexington Utilities (LU) in Henderson County
for an educational event at their new facility. West Tennessee Damage Prevention Liaison Jason Fryer led the charge and worked with management at the utility to plan the agenda and
get invitations out to stakeholders in the area. Planning for this safety day started in 2020, but COVID got in the way. Events like this are difficult to plan even in a normal year because attendance will vary greatly depending on location, weather, date, day of the week, start time, run time, content, and seemingly one million other variables. With the added difficulty of COVID, it’s a real challenge to coordinate an event that promotes safe digging while also encouraging safe interaction.
Despite the challenges, Jason and the team at LU pulled off a successful event with a manageable crowd of
40 attendees. The audience included contractors, the local highway department, locators, and other local utilities. Things got started bright and early at 7:00 AM with breakfast and
a welcome by LU’s General Manager Michael Harper who introduced the city and county mayors. Both mayors thanked attendees for their hard work responding to flooding in the area
and went on to stress the importance
of calling 811. Proclamations were signed at the city and county levels recognizing April as Safe Digging Month, and the mayoral support lends credibility to the initiative. Another
LU representative, Assistant General Manager Chuck Rowsey echoed the message of both mayors and introduced Jason Fryer to round out the agenda. Jason’s presentation hit on the use of 811, enforcement of the dig law, and best practices in damage prevention. It was well-received and prompted a lot of great questions, which is the best kind of feedback we can get. Several
organizations provided nice door prizes for the event. Special thanks to Texas Gas Transmission, Sunbelt Rentals, and of course LU for the donation of those prizes.
Damage prevention really takes everyone working together in every community across our state, so local events like these are a significant contribution to our overall success.
It comes down to the three C’s of success: Communicate, Commit,
and Collaborate. In our industry, it takes everyone communicating with
all the stakeholders involved. Each professional excavator should commit to safety and safe digging practices. And lastly, it takes collaboration to work together to achieve the same goals and ideals. At the end of the day, everyone wants to get back home safely to their families and your families want you back on safely.
Happy Safe Digging Month, everyone!
By Jason Fryer
Damage Prevention Liaison Tennessee811
2021, Issue 2 Tennessee811 • 15

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