Educational Sessions

We are currently accepting abstracts and session ideas for the 2021 Global Excavation Safety Conference. For consideration, submit your abstract here.

Tony Thornton, Executive Director, American Fence Association

There are 50 million+ fence posts in the ground, often installed on property lines and very near buried facilities. Learn how contractors deal with the many challenges fence contractors face and hear examples of some best practices endorsed by American Fence Association members.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator,  Electric,  Locate, One Call, Oil/Gas, Water/Sewer, Telecom, Public Works

Dave Ponder, Sunesis Construction Company

From the perspective of a former OSHA Compliance Officer, this session will detail what OSHA is looking for (and at) when conducting an inspection of your trench or excavation.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator,  Electric, Oil/Gas, Water/Sewer

Brandon Shroeder, Motivational Safety Speaker
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

Everyone makes decisions about safety and many of them in an instant. The wrong safety habits make it easier to make wrong decisions that are impossible to undo. Brandon Schroeder survived an arc flash explosion that should have killed him. Listen to Brandon as he recounts the tragedy and discusses the contributing factors and how it all could have been avoided. Brandon discusses the small decisions that happen every day on the job site and how his decisions affected him and everyone around him. This presentation leaves attendees with a stronger understanding and respect for doing the job correctly and safely.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, Locate,  Public Works

Joe Tantarelli, Speaker, Trinity Safety Consulting
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

In this session Joe recalls the events of June 5, 1983 when he was nearly buried alive as he was installing pipe in a trench that collapsed on him.
Joe will explore how human error contributed to making serious mistakes that almost led him to die on the job. Buried Alive: A Survivor’s Story will also look at the physical and emotional effects that incidents like this have not only the person injured, but also on family, friends, co-workers, and a company’s safety culture. And by the end of the sessions, attendees will learn strategies to help workers avoid these types of incidents in the future.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, Locate, Oil/Gas, Water/Sewer, Telecom

Colorado introduced a new Design Ticket Standard in 2018. The new Colorado 18-167 law implements the need for a Subsurface Utility Engineering (S.U.E.) ticket as per ASCE 38 standard for certain projects. This provides the dissemination of much more reliable and accurate information for the engineers during the design phase, which is the first step in damage prevention for the project. The presentation will outline the history behind the formation of the standard as well as the impact and benefits that have been realized since its implementation.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, Locate, One Call, Oil/Gas, Water/Sewer, Telecom, Engineer, Public Works

John Sparks, Texas 811

A group discussion focused on creating a successful statewide DPC program.

Session is part of the following tracks:

Board, One Call

Mish Thadani, Director of Market Development and Policy, Urbint
For Speaker bio, Click Here

Since the 1950s, trends in urbanization have led to over 80% of the U.S. population living in cities today. Along with increased urbanization comes a series of new challenges urban planners must face. One major impact of urbanization is that it precipitates a host of new construction and redevelopment activity (4-6% annual growth rate) that places additional stress on our existing systems. As a result, gas distribution operators are observing an increase in excavations that could potentially damage pipelines and cause severe hazards to the local community and environment.
By incorporating artificial intelligence, a model of the real world, and a risk prevention-focused approach into utility operations into existing damage prevention programs, utilities can identify where third-party damages are at high risk and proactively intervene. In this case study, the AI model was able to isolate three areas of risk: Predicting which excavation tickets would lead to a damage, which tickets would lead to a mis-locate by the locating contractor resulting in a damage, and instances of damage where an excavator did not place a one-call.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Locate, One Call, Oil/Gas, Engineer

Daniel FitzPatrick, Damage Prevention Field Operations Planner, Orange and Rockland Utilities
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

Utility companies utilize several strategies aimed at reducing damages. With a greater focus on pro-active damage prevention, a patroller program is an emerging strategy focused on building a working relationship between the utility and the excavator to prevent damages. This session will focus on the techniques to set up and run an effective patroller program which has been proven to reduced damages.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Electric, Oil/Gas,  Water/Sewer, Telecom, 

Jim Willis, President, In-Dev Specialists, Inc.
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

Some people handle verbal confrontations with ease, but for most of us, it’s a difficult and unpleasant task. Utility workers are no exception, and de-escalation is seldom their go-to response when confronted. The nature of utility work trends to attract Type-A personalities, so backing down is rarely their first instinct. The good news is that de-escalation is a learned skill, not a natural talent. Confrontations can spiral into physical aggression with astonishing speed. Personnel who regularly deal with the public need proactive skills that allow them to understand when and how to engage, when to disengage, and when to escape the situation.

Session is part of the following tracks: 
Excavator, Electric, Locate, Trenchless Technology, One Call, Oil/Gas, Regulatory, Water/Sewer, Telecom, Public Works

Lori Warner, Public Safety Coordinator, Xcel Energy – For Speaker Bio, Click Here  
Tracey Bryant, Manager-Damage Prevention & Public Awareness – For Speaker Bio, Click Here
Bill Stephens, Senior Manager Compliance Codes & Standards – For Speaker Bio, Click Here
Courtney Jordt, Damage Prevention Specialist, PG&E – For Speaker Bio, Click Here

Federal code requires gas operators to communicate safety information about their product to the public. But how effective is the industry in communicating 811, leak recognition, and leak response safety messages to excavators? Which companies are most effective and what can we learn to improve public safety nationwide? Attend to learn more about DPAC, the survey benchmarking findings and next efforts of DPAC. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with members addressing the value DPAC brings to their organization’s public awareness efforts.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Electric, Oil/Gas, Regulatory

John Brix, Professional Speaker
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

This presentation discusses how the industry is failing to identify the difference between the two aspects. The presentation also gives tools and examples of how to create training that reduces costs, increases memory retention in the field, and will produce a certified and competent worker.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Board, Professional Speaker

Joe Wise, Region Customer Training Manager, United Rentals
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

This presentation includes a review of the results from a 2019 trench survey, conducted by CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training, created to reveal potential factors that may contribute to the alarming rise in trench fatalities. As we consider those results we will review the responsibilities of the Competent Person and what they need to manage on a project with regard to soils, underground installations and the safety of the workers. We will conclude by discussing common and uncommon solutions for protecting workers and underground installations alike.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, Oil/Gas, Water/Sewer, Telecom, Public Works

Learn about New Mexico’s adopted statutes requiring excavators to immediately report underground utility damages to NM811 triggering notifications to affected utility companies and Pipeline Safety Bureau. Implementing a comprehensive tracking system can help with a more efficient process for reporting requirements, investigations, identifying root causes, and quick resolution and greater reporting capabilities.

Session is part of the following tracks:
One Call, Oil/Gas, Water/Sewer

Phil Meis, Owner, Utility Mapping Services, Inc.

How to get utility data needed to properly develop and deliver a project?  A proactive solution implemented for Montana DOT with SHRP2 R01A funding integrates utility permitting with collecting 3D digital data on new and exposed infrastructure in a 3D data repository compliant with ASCE’s new utility “as-built”.  This solution captures Utility as-built, SUE and Contractor utility data for ongoing construction, damage prevention, O&M, future planning and design, and myriad of life cycle ROW and asset management practices including systems impact analysis, optimized placement of utility installations, effective inspections, advanced coordination and control of 3rd party activities within the ROW.  Utilities benefit with reduced strikes on their facilities, advanced coordination, as well as ability to access data to safely construct their own facilities faster with less risk and cost.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, Oil/Gas, Water/Sewer, Telecom, Engineer

Geoff Zeiss, Principal, Between the Poles
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

Damage to underground utilities during construction represents a significant risk to the public and is a major cause of construction project delays and budget overruns. Annual fatalities attributable to underground utility damage are comparable to those resulting from commercial aviation incidents and costs society billions of dollars. In North America there are about 400,000 reported incidents of utility damage every year, the Netherlands sees about 41,000, but in Japan, there were only 134 utility damages in 2016! Why? In this session, Geoff will describe international initiatives taking place in the UK, US, Netherlands and Belgui, that are seeking to reduce the number of incidents of underground utility damage, and, reduce risk during construction.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, GIS, Locate

AJ Clark, Locate Manager, Badger Daylighting
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

Locating complex oil and gas infrastructure is challenging. Congested, abandoned, unknown, and non-conducting underground infrastructure lead to inaccurate and incomplete facility records. This presentation shows how to use advanced locate methods and effective data management to create a continually improving Damage Prevention process. Advanced locate techniques used to gather valuable positional information are very different than traditional isolation techniques. Clearly sharing gathered information with excavators greatly reduces line strikes. This data can, and should, be continually updated to improve the accuracy of facility records. Properly gathering, sharing and updating infrastructure positional data is the foundation of a sustainable and continually improving Damage Prevention Program. Attendees will come away from this presentation with an understanding of advanced locate techniques, data collection methods, and the importance of updating facility records.

Session is part of the following tracks:  
GIS, Locate, Oil/Gas

Robert Terjesen, Manager – Damage Prevention, National Grid – For Speaker Bio, Click Here
Lee Westerlind, Manager-Stakeholder Engagement Pipeline Safety Management, National Grid – For Speaker Bio, Click Here

National Grid is successfully implementing a Continuous Improvement strategy to reduce damages by integrating its Pipeline Public Awareness (PPA) program with its Damage Prevention initiatives. This presentation outlines the utility’s approach, which involves identifying and evaluating educational needs and communication preferences of stakeholders, aligning research findings with outreach activities, and employing new tactics and tools to improve stakeholder engagement.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Electric, Oil/Gas, Engineer

Jim Hayes, President, Fiber Optic Association – For Speaker Bio, Click Here
Tom Collins, Representative, Fiber Optic Association

Everyone knows that fiber optic cables are being run everywhere, a necessity for supporting wireless small cells and 5G fiber to the home/business, intelligent traffic systems and all the traditional metro and telecom networks. To reduce the cost of installation, contractors are trying new installation methods that may affect their coexistence with other underground utilities. Microtrenching, microducts, blown cables, micro cables, high fiber count cables and other components and techniques should be understood by those trying to track the fiber infrastructure and avoid it. We will describe what is being used and provide some insight into what it means in today’s world.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, Telecom, Public Works

Diana Manteria, Lead Specialist / Stakeholder Engagement – Pipeline Safety Management, National Grid – For Speaker Bio, Click Here
Roger Sampson, Executive Director, NY811 – For Speaker Bio, Click Here

This session will include new and innovative ways to measure effectiveness by utilizing new trends and technology to target all stakeholders in the industry with both specific and targeted messaging. Also covered is continuous improvement and on how New York 811 and its members are proactively engaging our stakeholders to be in line with the CGA vision of Zero damages. We will discuss how remaining fluid is key with changing times in the industry through education, training, metrics, and risk management. Also discussed will be New York 811’s CGA Regional Partner Committee, and the steps and initiatives they have taken to create industry leading sub-committees. The Committee, and its members have aligned its focus for all stakeholders to include training, outreach, digital media and public awareness.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Locate, Oil/Gas, Water/Sewer 

Josef Rosenberg, Alberta One-Call Corporation
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

In recent years, there has been an increased push from One-Call groups towards a self-served, web-based locate submission system. While the merits of an increase in online requests are readily apparent from an economic standpoint, exactly how much economic impact can it have on a One-Call provider and their Membership, and is there any effect on the safety of the resulting excavations?
Alberta One-Call has long held the philosophy of “Click Before You Dig”, insomuch that we curate the ClickBeforeYouDig.com portal for One-Call services in North America. This was created to try to direct excavators to utilize the online services offered by each One-Call provider, with the intention of increasing efficiencies in each service area.
At Alberta One-Call, as online submissions increased year over year from the start of the “Click Before You Dig” initiative, we noticed a surprising change in the quality of requests as well. Web-based requests would often have more precise information and less errors due to miscommunication. Short analysis of staffing costs and speed of processing relative to Phone requests displayed an obvious labor cost differential. As we saw more web usage, we also saw a decrease in reported utility strikes.
Utility strikes themselves are non-enforced in Alberta, as there exists no legislation mandating reporting strikes to the One-Call service, DIRT database, or otherwise. However, all Pipeline utility strikes are required to be reported to the AER (Alberta Energy Regulator), and this database of reports is freely available, and integrated into Alberta’s DIRT reporting. In DIRT, an optional but frequently used input field is for an associated One-Call request ticket number. This is used on approximately 30% of Alberta DIRT submissions. Having access to both the One-Call ticket database, as well as the anonymous DIRT database allows a unique window into the corollary of utility strike occurrence when a customer submits via Web, or over the Phone.
Upon completion of the initial analysis, it was determined that there was a statistically significant difference between Web and Phone requests that resulted in utility strikes in all regions. This is shown across multiple years of data, though the sets are self-reported.
Ultimately, all One-Call centres should be pushing for a transition to a Web-based service over Phones. Each year, internet access and smartphone access grows among the general populace, particularly in North America, and the evolution of One-Call services gets easier as a result. Not only is Web-based service less labor-intensive, it also allows One-Call centres to pivot towards more efficient Customer Support platforms, increased Public Awareness, and at the pinnacle, a more safe working environment for excavators in their region.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, GIS, Locate, Trenchless Technology, One Call, Oil/Gas, Regulatory, Water/Sewer, Telecom, Engineer, Public Works

Jim Willis, President, In-Dev Specialists, Inc.
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

Improving your situational awareness skills depends entirely on you. You begin to improve your situational awareness the moment you decide to take a proactive step in paying attention. Situational awareness training can be a life saver. And good training can help you become more effective at your craft and will provide insights into subtle ways to increase awareness and assess situations.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, GIS, Locate, Trenchless Technology, One Call, Oil/Gas, Regulatory, Water/Sewer, Telecom, Engineer, Public Works, International Speaker

Kelley Heinz, Damage Prevention / Claims Investigator, ComEd
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

This presentation highlights what ComEd as a utility owner is doing to prevent damages to their facilities. We share a background on how our Damage Prevention team was formed, what we do, and the effects of electric damage and electric contact both from the excavator and the utility standpoint.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Electric, Oil/Gas, Teleco

Dale Lesinski, DiVal Safety 

This session covers everything you will need to know to go back and implement an organized safety campaign. It utilizes the proven safety message from “Safe 4 the Right Reasons” a popular and effective safety message in the market. You will have all the tools for a fresh message and plan to carry it out for the next 12-24 months and beyond.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, Locate, Trenchless Technology, One Call, Oil/Gas, Regulatory, Water/Sewer, Telecom,  Public Works

Dale Lesinski, DiVal Safety 

A basic understanding of human behavior and why we do what we do is the foundation for motivating employees to avoid accidents and value safety. This program addresses how to get employees to adopt safe behavior by offering a fresh approach and making the message personal for every employee – which is the key to its effectiveness. Audience participation, fun, humor, real world situations and the ability to uncover each attendee’s personal motivation for safety makes this session a must-see.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric,  Locate, Trenchless Technology, One Call, Oil/Gas, Regulatory, Water/Sewer, Telecom,  Public Works

Ricky Rollins, Professional Speaker
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

Our family, friends and co-workers care what happens to you and you care what happens to them.  What happens to you affects them and what happens to them affects you.  We should learn from what happens to them and listen to them when they tell us something for our own good.  They only tell us things for our own good because they care about us.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Board, Excavator, Electric, GIS, Locate, Trenchless Technology, One Call, Oil/Gas, Regulatory, Water/Sewer, Telecom, Engineer, Public Works, Professional Speaker

John Brix, Professional Speaker
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

The mind is the most magnificent mechanism ever created and how you program it can affect you in a powerful way– whether that means achieving more in business, reigniting your relationships or discovering what remarkable achievements you can truly accomplish. The Power of Don’t will not only educate you on how the inner workings of the subconscious minds affects our personal performance but tools and philosophies will also be shared to improve personal success and mental capability.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Board, Professional Speaker

Cliff Meidl, President, Cliff Meidl Enterprises, LLC
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

From electrical construction accident survivor to Olympian, Cliff Meidl’s dynamic presentation shares his incredible journey of resilience and vision and how he persevered to overcome many challenges. In this session (you will hear) his remarkable story of how he overcame a near-death electrical accident and the vital tools he used to move beyond obstacles.
Cliff will demonstrate how worksite accidents affect both our employees and families. He will discuss the steps he believes are most important in creating a safety culture of excellence. We all strive to be our best and want to be a part of a thriving and winning organization. His presentation focuses on how breaking down barriers and entering the unknown can provide incredible opportunities, not only in life, but also in business.
Many of Cliff’s concepts demonstrate how utilizing tools, innovation and the power of “The Fire Within” are key to overcoming adversities and excelling. Cliff believes in the “Give Back” – the power to influence, inspire and utilize our leadership edge in order to create that culture of excellence. Cliff has presented his story around the nation including many times at the Excavation Safety Conference, authored articles in dp-PRO, and has been an 811 Ambassador and Spokesperson.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Electric

Bruce Magee, Region Product Development Manager, United Rentals
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

Even though OSHA’s construction industry-focused confined space regulations have been out since 2015, there is still much confusion as to exactly which Standard should be followed. This presentation will help to clarify and address the misunderstanding between when workers should follow the General Industry Standard, 1910.146, and the Construction Industry Standard, 1926 Subpart AA. Keeping those clarifications in mind, we will then address the importance of training your workers on the proper standard and provide ways to ensure everyone is compliant and safe.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, Oil/Gas, Water/Sewer, Telecom, Public Works

Mark Bruce, President, Cross Bore Safety Association
For Speaker Bio, Click Here

The Leading Practices for Cross Bore Risk Reduction was finalized in 2019, which includes recommendations from representatives of utility owners, pipeline installers, inspection service providers, regulators and manufacturers. A strong focus is offered on cross bores of sewers and gas distribution, along with recommendations useful for all types of utilities. The target stakeholder includes project managers for utilities, installers and inspection providers with recommendations for improvement of regulatory rate support, revision of regulatory safety regulations and Call Before You Dig legislation. The goal of the document is to achieve faster and more efficient risk reduction from existing cross bores and minimize the creation of new cross bores using leading practices. Municipal ordinance revision recommendations and sewer system operators can contribute to the effort with resulting improvement for the public and cooperation recommendations which can lower sewer operation costs due to required inspections of their sewer systems. Risk modeling, QAQC and the use of GIS data structures are included throughout the recommendations. In short, the document includes details for operations as well as improvements across all stakeholders, flow charts, examples of project documentation and descriptive graphics. References included are extensive and offer a path for further expanding the user’s knowledge base of cross bores risk reduction.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Electric, Trenchless Technology, Oil/Gas, Water/Sewer, Telecom

Ketha Molina, Damage Prevention Manager, Texas 811

Join Ketha Molina, Damage Prevention Manager with Texas 811 as she facilitates a panel of industry experts while they discuss the importance of white lining.

Session is part of the following tracks:
Excavator, Locate, Trenchless Technology, One Call

Educational sessions are offered by professional speakers and industry experts who share their time and experience to increase industry knowledge on damage prevention, public awareness, and other related topics. In addition, interactive industry-focused summits impanel industry leaders to address major issues and explore potential solutions. Full Conference registration required to participate in all education sessions and summits. 

Check back frequently for updates to educational sessions offered at the 2021 Global Excavation Safety Conference or sign up below to have updates sent directly to your inbox.

Session Tracks

With 80+ Conference sessions developed and presented by industry experts, it can sometimes be difficult to determine which topics best fit your individual educational needs. To help you determine the best fit, our sessions are categorized based on industry. We recognize the value of cross-discipline training and Full Conference delegates are always welcome to attend any session.   

All Industries

Board Member

Electric

Engineer

Excavator & Contractor

Gas & Oil

GIS

Locator

One Call

Public Works

Regulatory

Telecom & Cable

Trenchless

Water & Sewer

Education Credits Available

Attendance at a GITA session at the Global Excavation Safety Conference can contribute to the GISCI Course Points, a mandatory requirement for certification or renewal of your GISP. The GISCI Course Points are managed through GITA.

gita.org

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOURS (PDHs) – You may earn PDHs, which are nationally recognized units of record, by attending a UESI session at the Global Excavation Safety Conference. Individuals should check regularly with their state licencing board for specific continuing education requirements in their jurisdiction that affects professional engineering licensure and the ability to renew licensure. PDHs are managed through ASCE-UESI.

asce.org/uesigita.org

Workshops

A Workshop is an immersive (full- or half-day) educational experience where you learn practical strategies and gain comprehensive knowledge from recognized industry experts. Workshops prices vary and pre-registration is required. Workshops can be purchased as an enhancement to your Full Conference registration or as a standalone experience. Workshop registration includes expo floor access.

Vendor Outreach Sessions

Presented by our exhibitors, Vendor Outreach Sessions showcase the solutions and services our exhibitors offer the damage prevention community. Presented in a classroom setting, these sessions are open to all registration types and are designed to enhance your Conference experience.