Created: Monday, 28 February 2022 14:59
Written by Dana Raidt
As damage prevention stakeholders, we are all focused on keeping people and property safe. And while everyone’s goal is zero damages, the reality is that damages do occur.
In the past five years in the United States and Canada, damages to buried utilities have increased or stayed relatively steady, according to the Common Ground Alliance, with 475,770 damage events reported via the CGA’s Damage Information Reporting Tool in 2020.
Eric Kolcinski, a damage prevention coordinator with CenterPoint Energy and the president of the Metropolitan Utility Coordinating Committee, points out that in Minnesota, overall damage numbers appear to be staying “roughly the same, as expressed in a ratio of damages per 1,000 tickets.” However, he adds, “there are localized fluctuations in certain types of damaging parties and damage root causes—i.e., an increase in homeowner damages during summer 2020 with people working remotely during COVID-19.”
In addition to investigating damages, Kolcinski works closely with excavators to help troubleshoot and educate in order to reduce them. Before he joined CenterPoint in 2016, he worked in line locator, lead tech and supervisor/managerial positions, becoming involved in all aspects of line locating, interacting with GSOC and Minnesota dig law, training locators and working with excavators and utility operators.
“Communication is the biggest tool in damage prevention,” Kolcinski says. “I see my day-to-day job as helping damage prevention stakeholders be able to clearly communicate with each other to avoid damaging buried facilities.” Here, he explains what happens when a damage does occur in Minnesota.
Read more ...