Violence in Your Workplace: Prevention & Response; Presenter: Carol S. Dodgen, Owner/Dodgen Security

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What have you done to prevent and prepare for violence in your workplace? Current statistics reveal that violent behavior is increasing, and homicides in America are at historic levels. We cannot ignore the possibility that our employees and workplace could be affected. In the last few years, isolation, stress, and fear have overwhelmed us like never before. Mental health professionals are overbooked, money is tight and crime rates are skyrocketing. In this environment, we must ensure our employees have the tools to prevent and properly handle the unpredictable situations they will inevitably encounter. Whether it be angry customers, disgruntled coworkers, domestic violence issues that spill over into the workplace, or an individual stressed out and fed up who chooses you and your employees to terrorize, we must be prepared. In this timely session, we will look at recent cases and discuss best practices for prevention, de-escalation, and critical response, as well as the importance of situational awareness and risk avoidance. 


Rising to the Challenge – “50 in 5” Industry Challenge to Cut Damages in Half by 2028; Presenter: Khrysanne Kerr, Vice President of Marketing & Outreach/Common Ground Alliance (CGA)

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The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities, announced earlier this year their “50 in 5” industry challenge to stakeholders with a goal of reducing damages to critical underground utilities by 50% in five years. According to CGA’s Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report, the annual rate of damages to buried infrastructure in the U.S. has remained stagnant for most of the last decade and costs the U.S. a staggering $30 billion every year. Each of the hundreds of thousands of dig-ins to underground utilities that occurs annually has the potential to cripple communities and businesses by cutting them off from critical services, causing injury or even loss of life. CGA’s “50 in 5” challenge aims to address damages to our Nation’s critical assets head-on by bringing damage prevention advocates together around a targeted set of strategic, data-driven priorities. In this session, attendees will learn how you can support and become involved in the industry call to action.


IN ORBIT – Routine Infrastructure Monitoring Solutions from Space are Taking Off!!; Presenter: Peter Weaver, Vice President, Business Development/Orbital Sidekick

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Years in the making, the small sat era has arrived and new customized capabilities, not long ago the work of science fiction, are becoming commercially available with the world’s most powerful hyperspectral satellites and are now in orbit. New inspection methods for infrastructure operators are proliferating, and among them is satellite-based asset analysis. For pipeline operators, at a basic level, this includes detectable failures, including liquid leaks and gas emissions. It can also include detection of threats to the infrastructure, ranging from encroachment from vehicles, digging or construction activity, new erosion features, and localized vegetative health anomalies. 

In this session, you will hear about how energy companies in general, and oil and gas pipeline operators in particular, have begun utilizing the commercial space marketplace, specifically with intelligence derived from the latest generation of hyperspectral monitoring satellites now orbiting the globe. 

Peter Weaver joined us previously in 2021 to discuss the satellite monitoring capabilities that were then being built and to share initial market opportunities for these upcoming commercial capabilities. Now with a constellation of satellites in orbit, having this summer begun to capture data over domestic and international infrastructure on a daily basis, he will return to share some initial images, analysis and observations from these spacecrafts. He will also discuss how this resulting intelligence is beginning to be incorporated into operations by your industry peers as we begin a new chapter for improved decision making using space-based asset intelligence. 

With many new technologies and platforms being introduced, utility and pipeline operators are now facing increasingly critical decisions as to how they invest to ensure enhanced operational integrity. This session aims to prompt conversations that will aid this decision making both now and in the months ahead.


A Comprehensive Look at Private Utility Locates; Presenters: Larry Oliver, Vice President/Mason Private Locating; Jake Mason, President/Mason Private Locating; Eric Mandery, Client Relationship Manager/Mason Private Locating; Brad Mason, Operations Manager/Mason Private Locating

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Many project managers contact 811 to have the public facilities marked, and too often that is the extent of their search! A large number of underground facilities and structures are not marked by the facility operators and locators in the 811 system, and understanding the difference between Public and Private Utilities can be tricky. Typically, facilities within the right-of-way would be considered public, but what about the sewer lateral that crosses the road? What about the power that feeds to a sign that is by the roadway? What about the water service going from the meter to the building? What about the facilities running around a hospital? A University? A Manufacturing Facility? 

Join the team from Mason Private Locating as they discuss the differences between Public and Private Utilities and why it is important to contact both 811 and a Private Utility Locating company. Also learn more about some of the different technology that is available in order to make your next project more efficient.


Risk vs. Reward: Preventing Loss and Increasing Profitability; Presenter: A.J. Manion, Founding Partner/Manion Stigger, LLP, a Construction Law Firm

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Success comes by design. Failure is not an accident; failure is the product of poor practices. Attorney A.J. Manion has participated in the construction industry for more than 35 years—in the field, as a project manager, and as an attorney representing the interests of contractors throughout the United States as the founder of a law firm devoted to the interests of industry professionals. From these decades of experience, clear best practices have emerged to prevent damages and unnecessary loss. This presentation will review the contractor’s risk matrix, identify liability, and discuss best practices to maximize project profitability by minimizing risk.


Dialing in Your Reticular Activation System (RAS) for Ultimate Success; Presenter: John Brix, International Safety Speaker

There is an unbelievable subconscious program called the Reticular Activation System (RAS), which acts as a filter for the vast amount of information stimulus that enters our subconscious mind to become conscious thought. This filter develops our perception of our environment, controls the information that we consciously recognize and can be the catalyst of either seeing opportunities or actively ignoring opportunities that surround us. In this session, attendees will learn about the RAS program, and how it works and functions, as well as how to change our RAS program, allowing us to be much more successful in accessing opportunities around us.


Damage Prevention: A PHMSA Perspective; Presenter: Massoud Tahamtani, Deputy Associate Administrator, Policy and Programs/PHMSA

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Nationwide, excavation damage continues to be one of the leading causes of pipeline failures. This session will discuss how PHMSA works with its state partners and others to advance excavation damage prevention.  Reducing damages to pipelines and other underground facilities is a responsibility that we all share. Taking this responsibility seriously is particularly important now that, through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, thousands of infrastructure projects are underway in every state and territory that will serve to bolster our economic security and prosperity for decades to come. 


Preventing Accidents with Confined Space Training; Presenter: Robert Wagner, Vice President/Fusion Safety and Business Solutions

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If you’re looking to get more familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) definitions and requirements pertaining to confined spaces, now is your chance! This session will cover common hazards associated with performing work in a confined space, along with how to best protect yourself and your co-workers from such hazards. During the session, Robert will also clarify safety requirements for your entry into a confined space, entry permit checklist items needed prior to entering a confined space, and he also will discuss the importance of having a complete and accurate duty roster. Finally, attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how to ensure effective rescue procedures are in place and understood by confined space workers, attendants, supervisors, and rescue personnel.


Indiana’s Damage Prevention Stakeholder Group – Purpose and Objectives – A Panel Discussion; Presenters: Steve Allen, Executive Director of Pipeline Safety/Energy Worldnet, Inc.; Lisa Robbins, Utility Coordination Program Manager/HWC Engineering; Aaron Holeman, Senior Pipeline Safety Engineer, Pipeline Safety Division/Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC); Kurt Youngs, President/Youngs Excavating, Inc; Janice Long, HR/Safety Director/Atlas Excavating, Inc.; Rusty Poore, Senior Damage Prevention Coordinator/CenterPoint Energy;  Blaine Walters, Operations Manager/USIC; Justin Sell, Executive Director/Indiana 811

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This session will introduce the audience to Indiana’s Damage Prevention Stakeholder Group, highlighting its background, overall purpose, and the objectives the group is seeking to accomplish. Panelists from each of the respective damage prevention stakeholder groups will discuss their perspectives on the initiative and why it is of value. The panel will also explore some of the main topics that have been discussed since this group was reestablished earlier this year, as well as the successes the group has enjoyed. 


Tips and Tricks for Advanced Locating; Presenter: Casey McCorquodale, National Sales Director/Stake Center Locating

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Stuck in a rut? Locating the same way every time? Come learn some tips and tricks in this advanced locator training class. Former National Key Accounts Manager for Radiodetection, Casey McCorquodale, will discuss steps to obtain the best signal, Precision Locate equipment features and how to care for your equipment. You’ll also walk away from this session with troubleshooting advice and tailgate topics to share in the field. Casey will cover a variety of content, including ways to minimize distortion, as well as bleed over, the importance of current measurement, placement of the transmitter to direct the signal, current direction and power harmonics.


UPPAC: The Who What & How; Presenters: Ben Warren, Director Gas Transmission & Distribution | Energy Operations/Citizens Energy Group, and the UPPAC Committee Members: Scott Sontag, Rick Smith, Justin Sell, Bruce Dickie, Angie DeKemper and Blaine Walters

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The Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee (UPPAC) is composed of members appointed by the Governor of Indiana to act in an advisory capacity to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) concerning the enforcement of damages to underground natural gas and liquid petroleum facilities. During this session, attendees will learn the origin and evolution of UPPAC, review case history, identify root causes of damages, and meet the members of this seven-person advisory committee. Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss specific inquiries regarding UPPAC penalties and processes.


Planning for Success in Locating for Municipalities; Presenter: Randy Weathers, MS4 Supervisor/The City of Greenwood

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In the municipal government world, it’s a common occurrence for someone to “wear multiple hats.” Because of this, we sometimes must accomplish tasks that we are not very familiar with. In this session we will discuss what happens when that task is locating your utilities. Randy will give advice and guidance on some of the struggles, and solutions to the struggles, that he faced along the way as he learned how to manage locating for municipalities. Whether you work for a smaller municipality or are new to locating in your job as a manager or employee, this session will provide a good base to build upon.


Utility Coordination for Utilities; Presenter: Bill Read, Utility and Railroad Engineer, Seymour District

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It’s no secret that utilities often are confused or frustrated with the Indiana Department of Transportation’s (INDOT’s) utility coordination process. They wonder: Why does the first notice come out so early in the process? By the time I receive a second notice, I forgot about the project. Why does it take so many letters to get to the work plan? Why does it take so long to go from the initial notice to work plan request?  In this presentation, Bill Read, Utility and Railroad Engineer for the Seymour District, will discuss the purpose of utility coordination, what information to give the Utility Coordinator, the importance of knowing where the utilities are located and what needs to be shown on the relocation plan. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the process for utility coordination and INDOT’s role in making every attempt to ensure utilities are not damaged.


Best Practices for Managing High-Profile/High-Risk Assets; Presenter: Tom Hall, Vice President of Business Development/KorTerra, Inc.

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For organizations in the oil and gas industry, there is nothing more critical than the effective management of high-profile mains/high-risk assets. The combination of people, processes and technology can enable organizations to establish solid processes that ensure maximum protection of these assets. Join Jim Plasynski, Chief Revenue Officer of KorTerra, Inc., to discuss best practices and methods for managing these critical assets. Session attendees will gain insights into how stakeholders are efficiently leveraging tools and data to better alert their internal teams and third-party partners of elevated risk scenarios. This session will also review top data collection and tracking methods that are being incorporated to document work performed related to these assets, and the associated processes for which teams are responsible. Finally, the presentation will discuss how the risks in the industry are evolving with fiber build outs and other large project tickets, and how to get in front of these challenges.


Resources for Effective Traffic Management; Presenters: Marisah Darling, Office/Account Manager/Protection Plus, Inc.; Billy Ingles, Operations Director/Protection Plus, Inc.

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There are approximately 6 million car crashes each year nationally and 40,000 of those happen in work zones. Most vehicle crashes reported in a work zone result in the injury or death of drivers or passengers of vehicles, not the work zone workers themselves. But we must stop and ask ourselves, are we doing our part to keep everyone safe?

Traffic management requires all stakeholders to work together to ensure the safety of all. Sometimes traffic management devices such as cones, barricades, signs, and paint markings aren’t enough to manage and control the flow of traffic. One solution to improving traffic management is the use of Traffic Control Flaggers, who can play an important role in improving overall work site safety. Flaggers work hand in hand with the work crews to provide safe, courteous, and authoritative direction to traffic entering and/or departing from a work area. Due to the level of responsibility that comes with being a Flagger, Flaggers must attend adequate training and stay up to date on protocols, requirements, guidelines, and any minute-by-minute changes to the work site area.

This session will go over the importance of education, preparation, assessment and implementation of traffic management for a work zone. The Protection Plus team will also discuss the devices available and benefits of having traffic control Flaggers, as well as the recommended equipment and training needed in order for a traffic control Flagger to be efficient and effective at their job.


Historical Pipeline Events and Lessons Learned; Presenter: Steve Roberts M.Ed., Vice President of Training/Paradigm; David Wilkerson, Senior Public Awareness Consultant/Paradigm

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In this session, attendees will learn that in order to be successful in preventing underground utility damage today and moving forward, it is important to consider past incidents, the lessons learned from these incidents, and how these occurrences influenced damage prevention legislation throughout the country. 


Maximize Your Pro-ductivity with Exactix Pro Ticket Entry; Presenter: Kristin Swank, Web Training Specialist II/Indiana 811

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Have you heard about the Exactix Pro system and are interested in learning more? What makes Exactix Pro so special? What are it’s most important features and how can they work to make your job easier and faster? Join us to learn how to maximize your productivity with Exactix Pro and get your questions answered.


Natural Gas Safety for First Responders and Contractors; Presenter: Mike Miller, Public Safety Trainer/NIPSCO

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How should first responders respond to a natural gas emergency? Many first responders and contractors are unsure of what to do when confronted with an active gas incident. Should responders attempt to shut down valves or crimp off blowing gas lines? If gas is burning, should the fire be extinguished or left to burn? When should the gas utility company be called? These are all questions that are answered throughout NIPSCO’s Natural Gas Safety Training programs.

In 2018 NIPSCO started a Natural Gas Safety Training program. The instructors for these programs have a career background in the fire service. Since the inception of this program, all 262 fire departments in the NIPSCO territory have had this training at least once and there have been almost 8,000 attendees, including firefighters, police officers, emergency managers, EMS personnel, and contractors/excavators.   

This session will review the training programs and content they cover, such as the traits of a natural gas distribution system, characteristics of natural gas with demonstrations of vapor densities and flammable ranges, as well as safe response tactics in the event you are involved with a natural gas leak. All of this will allow the first responders and contractors to make educated decisions while assessing the risk vs. benefit of their actions. 


Proposed Changes to IC 8-1-26 in 2024, Indiana’s “Dig Law”; Presenter: Kurt Youngs, President/Youngs Excavating, Inc.

This session will feature a step-by-step review of the proposed legislative changes to IC 8-1-26, which will be included in the next legislative session commencing January 2024. These proposed changes are put forth in full collaboration and support of the Indiana Stakeholders Group and the Indiana 811 Board of Directors. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a brief discussion on what future legislation could possibly entail.


The Latest Advancements in CCTV for Utility Locates;  Presenters: Larry Oliver, Vice President/Mason Private Locating; Jake Mason, President/Mason Private Locating; Eric Mandery, Client Relationship Manager/Mason Private Locating; Brad Mason, Operations Manager/Mason Private Locating

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In today’s utility world, the most commonly overlooked facilities when it comes to locates are sewers and sewer laterals. 

CCTV can help contractors, facility owners, homeowners, environmental companies, engineering firms and many others when it comes to knowing exactly where a line is located. Design? Avoid those costly redesigns because the sewer ended up being right where you were planning to place a storm outlet. Directional Drilling? Avoid the infamous cross bore and be able to safely place your lines without having to worry about where the sewer laterals may or may not cross your path. Construction? It is always better to know where a facility is before you begin to work, rather than after. 

Most people don’t realize the potential for damage in a sewer line until they return to a job site to make the repair, or in the event that a line was placed with trenchless technology and ended up going through a sewer main or lateral. Think about the effects of an electric line, a fiber-optic cable, or even a gas line that could be running through a person’s lateral causing a clog, and then the ensuing actions of a plumber who comes to the site to cut out the blockage, thinking it’s a tree root, when it’s really an intersecting facility. These types of scenarios do in fact happen, and sometimes they can even be life threatening.

Join Mason Private Locating as they discuss why CCTV is the most accurate way to mark these types of facilities, saving you time and money, and how you can incorporate the final deliverables into the product you provide to your client.


Review of New 811 Regulations Taking Effect in 2024; Presenters: Beth Heline, General Counsel/Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC); Jeremy Comeau, Assistant General Counsel/Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC)

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For the first time since 2011, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is updating the regulations that apply to 811 notices and the accompanying enforcement process when damages to pipelines occur. Attorneys from the IURC will explain these new changes, which are slated to take effect beginning in 2024. This session will delve into the two working day notice period and how the calculation of two working days will change. It will also cover the process for ticket rescheduling, the requirement for descriptions of the size and type of underground pipelines from the gas utility, and affirmative responses to excavators. Learn how to keep you and your company compliant by understanding the regulations that govern the process – this is a session you won’t want to miss!


Enhancing Safety & Efficiency in Your One Call System with Damage Prevention; Presenters: Indiana 811 Education and Outreach Team: Lauryn Luckey, Education and Outreach Manager; McKennah Heckman, Education and Outreach Specialist; Mason Hubner, Education and Outreach Specialist; Johnna Bingham, Education and Outreach Specialist; Maddie McCaughey, INPAA Program Manager

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Indiana 811 plays a crucial role in promoting safety and damage prevention through outreach and education. The Education and Outreach team actively engages with various stakeholder groups to ensure they understand the importance of following best practices to prevent damages related to underground utilities. This session will present best practices discussed with operators, excavators, and locators to enhance communication and reduce ticket delay for all stakeholder groups.


Subconscious Communication Hacks; Presenter: John Brix, International Safety Speaker

Want to learn how to deliver a better message, one that can influence your work culture, be the catalyst for the change you want to see and allow for the best return on investment for your advertising time? This presentation will give an in-depth look at how the subconscious mind works, how it influences our behavior, and how to properly deliver a message that can be recalled, no matter how much time has passed. 

International Safety Speaker John Brix will deliver tools that can be used to increase your communication ability and dramatically improve your training and mentorship program, all the while allowing the tools to be self-reflective, resulting in positive growth in personal behavior understanding.


The Beginning of The End of cross bores? Presenters: Danny Hixon, Founder and CEO/Hixon Consultants LLC; Michael Hassey, CTO and Chief Engineer/Hixon Consultants LLC

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Cross bore mitigation techniques and practices have come a long way since the pioneering efforts of the early 2000s. Drawing from two decades of experience in the planning and execution of cross bore mitigation projects, we have found that success hinges on the quality of collected field data and immediate access to this validated information in support of trenchless installation activities. The physical technologies used to keep gas lines out of the sanitary and storm sewers in the first place and the traditional means of validating the absence of breaches post construction have not changed significantly since the term cross bore was coined. What we can now do with this collected data through the advent of machine learning algorithms has progressed light years since 2017. 

Object detection and classification techniques being employed by Hixon Consultants and a midwestern gas distribution company have been elevating confidence in the post construction data to a never before seen level of surety. This session will take a deep dive into both the historic and future cutting edge of reaching every utility’s goal of zero cross bores, and the technologies employed to do so.