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Thread: Manhole Madness

  1. #1
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Manhole Madness

    I ran into an ELM locator a while back. The locator and I started talking about... Locating of all things. We eventually got around to getting in manholes. I told the locator I no longer have to get in manholes and was thankful. We were standing next to the ELM truck and I noticed there was no manhole equipment. No cage, no blower, no hose, no nothing. I told the locator when I located phone for STS that EVERYBODY had manhole equipment all the way down to the gas detector. AND, it was stressed that if anybody was caught entering a manhole without following proper procedure they would be walking home from that location. No second chances.

    I felt bad for the locator that they were working under those conditions. I also told the locator that I wasn't trying to be a prick but if I caught any locator entering a manhole without following those procedures I would call Qwest and report the company. maybe a call to OSHA would do the trick too.

    I do admit that I have entered a few manholes in my time without blowing them out. It was just quicker and I could hold my breath long enough. Well, there were a few times where I couldn't hold my breath that long. But, hey, I'm still here so not a big deal. Right? I got lucky and if faced with the same choice I wouldn't enter a manhole without blowing it out AND testing the air.

    A friend of mine was getting in a manhole and his foot slipped on the ladder rung. He ended up hanging upside down from that ladder until someone pulled him out. He also messed up his knee real bad. Things can happen in those manholes.

    You can enter many manholes without blowing them out and nothing will happen to you. That is the truth. But, there are some that are deadly and you don't know which ones they are.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

  2. #2
    Senior Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manhole Madness

    I've known individual locators take that chance to get more production but I can't believe a company like ELM would knowingly allow it. If this is true they'll pay for it times a thousand one day.

  3. #3
    Mke
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    Default Re: Manhole Madness

    Don't think the company is endorsing this. It is one of those sheets you signed when getting the job.... Something to the effect that you will follow all corporate proceedures which includes confined space entry. SO when a Locator gets killed in the manhole, they can say that "He wasn't following proceedures".

    When in actuallity, it was him playing the percentages. Lets say only 10% of his locates have duct runs, and out of that 10% he can get 80% with an extension stick. the other 20% he's winging it to expidite the locates. All of this with the knowledge of the Lead....or the manager of any equipment the office has.



    Either way.... its not the companies fault.

    mke

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    Default Re: Manhole Madness

    It is never the companies fault, there is alwasy some sort of loophole it seems to pin it on the locator.

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    Default Re: Manhole Madness

    Quote Originally Posted by Justadrop View Post
    It is never the companies fault, there is alwasy some sort of loophole it seems to pin it on the locator.
    It is manly the company fault if they did not provide you with the equipment or training needed to do the job. Now if they have supplied you with the training and the equipment and you decide to disregard it to be more productive I think it should be on the employee. When we first started doing phone only a few had pumps and some did not have a blower. My supervisor at sm&p came upon two guys doing a locate from a manhole and they both got suspended 5 days for no safety equipment. Funny thing is this same supervisor had helped me on a manhole a few times and had just grabbed the hook and pulled the cover with never checking the gas. Also would just grab the coupler and climb down and clamp on even before i cold get the blower unloaded.

    I use to work for a company that supplied heat shrinking equip for the telecommunications companies. Now OSHA requires you to keep the propane tank out of the manhole for safety. Propane is heavier than air and could pol in the work zone or remove the oxygen. A girl in KC took her 20lb tank into the manhole, it had a leak. When she ignited her torch the vault erupted.

  6. #6
    Mke
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    Default Re: Manhole Madness

    Hey paintit,

    what i'm saying is that the company has covered their arse when it comes to safety. If a locator dies in a manhole you watch and see the companies press release... "we here at BFLC would like to take this time to let you everyone in the company know we have lost a great up and coming employee. Jo Bob fell in the line of duty this past week while entering a confined space during his daily activities. While our thoughts and prayers are with Jo Bob's friends and family, we need to take time to emphisize the importance of confined space entry proceedures. Safety is #1 here at BFLC and we care about each individual employee. If you are not comfortable with the knowledge learned in your company mandated training class about how to properly enter a confined space or if you are not sure that your company supplied equipment is working right, please see you lead/DM for updated equipment and training...etc..."

    In other words... We have proof that we told you retards how to properly enter a manhole.... if you have failed to do so it is on you.

    How to counter act this? E-mail requests for the equipment and save a copy, so when they don't supply the equipment you have proof of how long its been and who has been taking the requests.

    mke

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manhole Madness

    i feel sorry for all those guys that do those downtown areas where they have to get in a few of them for an accurate locate????? !!!!!
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: Manhole Madness

    If you get into a MH without blowing it out, you should be fired on the spot. Methane kills. Silent, quick and deadly. Don't be stupid.

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