New safety approaches, federal regulations highlighted at 2017 Safety Day

More than 400 Florida excavators attended 811 Safety Day, March 16, 2017, for safety education, 100-plus exhibits and outdoor demonstrations. The free event was held at the Rosen Shingle in Orlando in conjunction with the Common Ground Alliance's Excavation Safety Conference & Expo.

The day began with an overview of pending legislation and PHMSA regulations that could affect excavators. They also heard about gas pipelines and the risks excavators take when they don't use 811 before digging.

Excavators were also given a pre-excavation report to take back to the job site and were encouraged to view safety as a personal responsibility - not just something the company requires.

In a follow-up survey, we found that many attendees did just that. They were using some of those safety tips in their everyday work practices. A few other key takeaways they mentioned:

  • Training and documentation is the key to reducing underground facility damage.
  • The smallest mistakes can cost a life.
  • 811 is important in our everyday life.
  • Everyone’s job is important.
  • It’s too easy to get lazy when it comes to safety.

A special thank you goes to our speakers for their frank discussion and common-sense tips: Sam Hall, PHMSA; Rick Barrett, Florida Gas Transmission; Sandra Panos, TECO Peoples Gas an Emera Company; Shawn Deutscher, Williams; Smithy Murphy, Team Fishel; Chris Diaz, Balfour Beatty; Nick Rike, Jamieson Fence Supply; Amit Shankar, USIC; and Paul Larkin, Staking University.

Safety Day 2019 will be held in Tampa. Watch our website for updates closer to that time.


Through the generous donations of our sponsors, we were able to provide breakfast and lunch for all. Please visit our sponsor websites to learn about their businesses and how they are making Florida a safer place to dig.