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Thread: Need info on fines levied by utilities

  1. #1
    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Default Need info on fines levied by utilities

    Our local utility companies are starting to talk about issuing fines for hits with no locates, inaccurate locates,etc.

    Can you advise me:

    1) What utility companies hand out fines?

    2) What types of incidents are fines levied for?

    3) How much are the fines? Do they vary according to cost of repairing hit?

    4) What kind of "Punishment", IF ANY do the locating firms take against the locator for an at fault hit where a fine is levied? Do you get a suspension? Fine? Crappy locates for a week or two? A visit from Tito and Luigi to breaka some bones?

    This arose today when there was a gs line hit (4.5" IP PE) where the contractor was digging without a locate. The Utility employee let it slip out that fines are in the works.

    I know some of you already have the utilities doing this so I would like to know what is coming down the turnpike.

    ThanX
    Success is a journey, not a destination...

  2. #2
    Chicagoman
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    Default Re: Need info on fines levied by utilities

    Local State goverment do here. But not a whole lot. The utility charge for the repair plus about 60% profit margen built in. So it hurt the bottom line

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    Senior Member frostypeters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need info on fines levied by utilities

    UG,

    It really varies. I know many utilities set parameters and then reflect them by adjusting the ticket price for a set amount of time.

    But it sounds like what they have in mind is handing out a set fine for a specific root cause. So every month all at-fault damages will be evaluated and any that are agreed to be "not marked" will be counted up and the company fined.

    Then the trickle down effect to the locator is an obvious effort to prevent those types of damages whether it be through training, policy changes, discipline, etc.

    I think the size of the fines will really reflect how much change you specifically will see. Remember anything like this has to be written into your contract, therefore will have to be agreed upon by both the utility and your company. Now, if your company wants the work they will accept it but usually they will have some say in the matter.
    Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

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    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need info on fines levied by utilities

    Quote Originally Posted by frostypeters View Post
    UG,

    It really varies. I know many utilities set parameters and then reflect them by adjusting the ticket price for a set amount of time.

    But it sounds like what they have in mind is handing out a set fine for a specific root cause. So every month all at-fault damages will be evaluated and any that are agreed to be "not marked" will be counted up and the company fined.

    Then the trickle down effect to the locator is an obvious effort to prevent those types of damages whether it be through training, policy changes, discipline, etc.

    I think the size of the fines will really reflect how much change you specifically will see. Remember anything like this has to be written into your contract, therefore will have to be agreed upon by both the utility and your company. Now, if your company wants the work they will accept it but usually they will have some say in the matter.
    Frosty:

    ThanX. Our contract with the 1 call consortium is in its option year and I would guess that some negotiations are under way.

    I of course have no way of knowing with any certainty whether "fines" would be a part of the next contract or not. I also do not know if the utility locate auditor has real information or whether it is just something he is thinking about.

    In any event, it got me thinking!


    I really would like to hear from anyone that does have a "FINE" system in their contract with the utility companies or 1 call. No utility NAMES per say just something like

    the local power/gas/telephone/cable company issues fines for...

    ThanX everyone please keep them coming.
    Success is a journey, not a destination...

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