We live in the most connected age in history. What you text, post, email, or otherwise disseminate in a digital format can be instantly seen across the office, across town, across the nation and across the world.
Remember a few weeks ago when someone pressed the wrong button and sent an accidental incoming missile alert to Hawaii? It was nearly forty minutes before that situation was rectified. In the meantime, texts and messages were flying like home runs at a Sioux Falls Canaries game.
And it all turned out to be a mistake. Pressing the wrong button is bad. Pressing the right button is good.
So, we’re happy to congratulate the city of Aberdeen for their first ever safety alert issued via text over a house explosion incident that could have endangered the public. The incident happened on Tuesday, February 6th.
According to news reports, Police Chief Dave McNeil said the officers who first responded to the scene noticed it had the characteristics of a gas explosion. He said firefighters then reported there was a secondary explosion and that the utility company was being notified, so steps were taken to alert the public. You can read the entire story here: http://www.govtech.com/public-safety/A-House-Explosion-Gave-a-South-Dakota-City-the-Chance-to-Issue-its-First-Safety-Alert-Via-Text.html
Thankfully, there were no injuries, and the cause is still under investigation.
In such a scenario, getting the word out quickly is vitally important. That’s part of what we’ll be doing in our Spring Damage Prevention meetings. South Dakota 811 along with local utilities will be conducting informative sessions to assist the excavation community and operators of underground facilities in reducing damage to underground facilities and improving safety for excavation employees and the general public. We want to make sure everyone utilizes underground utility locating services before digging. Making the 811 request is priority one on any excavation project.
The full schedule is here: http://www.sdonecall.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2018-Spring-Damage-Prevention-Schedule..pdf
It’s been said a million times that there is no substitute for safety. And when we say if we’ve told you once, we’ve told you a million times, we’re not exaggerating. Workplace safety is at the top of our list at South Dakota 811 – but we can’t do it by ourselves.
Call 811. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s the law.
Until next time, safe digging!