For contractors in northeastern Pennsylvania, the first PA One Call Northeastern Safety Day in the Wilkes-Berre/Scranton area was held on May 5, 2015 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre. More than 300 attendees made the daylong event a huge success where they were able to attend safety training sessions on topics like Preventing Falls on Construction Sites, Workzone Traffic Control and the PA One Call website. Additionally, an outdoor trench rescue demonstration put on by the Luzerne County Technical Rescue Team, showed in real time, the amount of care and precision that is necessary when attempting to res-cue a person who is trapped in a trench collapse res-cue operation. This day’s event, one of four to be held across Pennsylvania in 2015, begins an ongoing safe-ty campaign headed up by Bill Kiger, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc. and his team of safety experts.
On hand for this year’s keynote presentation was Brad Livingston, survivor of a natural gas well site explosion and motivational speaker who promotes job safety around the US and Canada. Livingston, a returning feature speaker, reminded attendees that unsafe acts not only affect the person who does them, but they affect a large number of others in that person’s life. Immediate family, friends, co-workers and the local community is also impacted by one person’s unsafe acts. Livingston has lived to tell his near death story, one that includes the death of his co-worker on that fateful day several years ago.
Earlier in the day, a collapsed trench extraction demonstration, gave dozens of attendees the opportunity to see the importance of trench safety when digging. It also demonstrated the time and effort that it takes to safely remove a victim or victims from a collapsed trench accident should that occur. According to Plains Rescue spokesperson, Dan Shaw, as often as not, the rescue becomes a recovery because of the short time that a victim has being buried in a sidewall collapse before being fatally over-come by suffocation and the sheer weight of the material that has buried the victim. Attendees surrounding the demonstration seemed to agree that the visual impact of seeing the intricacies of a rescue event leaves a lasting impression in the need for safe trenching practices.
Crews involved in the rescue demonstration included the PEMA County Terrorism Task Force, the PA Urban Serch and rescue team from a five county area PASafetyDay from 6, which included members from five rescue companies who train regularly to hone their skills in this procedure.
Dan Lucarelli, director Marketing and Education for PA 811, said his team, including local PA One Call liaisons, Elizabeth Davis (North East) and Jim Larkin (North Central), were especially pleased to be able to host this first time event in this area. Attendees were treated to a delicious free lunch, a fun filled “Jeopardy” contest that focused on 811 regulations and guidelines, and a host of door prizes donated by exhibitors and PA One Call. He said local utility companies including UGI, PPL, USIC and UGI Energy Services, had requested an event for this area, like those held elsewhere in PA throughout the year (East, Central, and West) because of the population and ongoing construction efforts that take place in north-eastern Pennsylvania.
This year’s PA Safety Day Schedule included additional Safety Day Events scheduled for Thursday May 7 in Philadelphia and Thursday June 25 in York, PA (both completed at the time of this printing); and Thursday September 24, at the Monroeville Convention Center, 209 Mall Blvd., Monroeville, PA. For more information on future PA One Call Safety Days, visit www.pa1call.org .