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Thread: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Nb22x's Avatar
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    Question WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    What if our job was public/ run by the government, AKA taxpayer funded and mandatory.

    This is an idea, a profession like ours is serious business and should be taken as such,
    not contracted out to the lowest bidder.

    It would be run at the state or county level, as a government service.
    What do you think the organization would look like?

    What would our relationship be with contractors and private utilities?
    Public utilities?

    GS pay scale?

    How would this idea begin to be implemented?
    Meeting with the local utility commission?

    What would happen to the contract companies?
    Would they die out if there were a federal/ state mandate on damage prevention?
    Or would the same people just go work for the government?

    Who would pay for damages?
    Hopefully the locators will never be at fault because
    they would be given Gov't time and resources to do their job properly.

    I do realize that the one call laws would have to be massively overhauled...

    Maybe this idea is impossible because there is so much money to be made in this industry
    and much of the expertise is in the contract field...and possible conflict of interest issues..

    How about cutting out the bloodsucking corporate investor ownership and put it
    in the hands of the taxpayers?

    The government would then be pressured to do their job correctly, not just chase after profits.
    there's not much incentive for contractors to care about doing their job correctly anymore.
    This would change that.

    What do you think?
    I've only been here one year, so I don't now all that much.
    But, this job is too important to be treated as an afterthought!

    I WANT EVERYONE'S INPUT! THIS IS IMPORTANT!

    THANKS.
    Homeowner - "They still bury lines in the ground?
    I thought they didn't do that anymore!"
    Me - "Yes sir they do."
    ____________________
    Homeowner - "...But you're painting all over people's property"
    Me - "Yes I am. It's the law."
    ____________________
    Homeowner - "My gas line is not over there"
    Me - "Yes it is."

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    Given 50 state jurisdictions the results would be wildly different.

    The big problem you have are the records would belong to the utilites, not the government.

    There would be constant pressure, lobbying and bribery to outsource the marking to the private sector.

    Damages due to mismarks would still occur and the liable party would be the government. Any injuries or deaths due to mismarks and the government would be liable also.

    First off you would have to convince the state government to take on the responsability, highly unlikly.

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    Senior Member USIC1's Avatar
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    Professional locator -

    "H.O. - "They still bury lines in the ground?
    I thought they didn't do that anymore!"
    Me - "Yes ma'am they do."
    ____________________

    Me - "Where's your electric meter located?
    H.O. - "And just what do you need that for?"
    Me - "..."
    ____________________
    H.O. - "...But you're painting all over people's property"
    Me - "Yes ma'am that's what we do. It's the law."
    ____________________
    H.O. - "My gas line is not over there"
    Me - "Yes it is.""

    While breaking some bonds Friday I had an older asian lady that could nt speak english well trying to tell me to leave the grounds alone...

    She was like 'dont touch that"...

    Do you have name card???

    over and over...

    I was saying hey!!! this is the law if these lines dont get marked and cut aomebody will be in trouble...

    I had a homeowner call the cops on me once before for taunting them to call the cops and when the cop showed up after getting em worked up and the homeowner went into a tantrum with the law... Cop asked me I said hey I told the homeowner what the deal was and its the law... He said do what you need to do... And i gave that glance to the homeowner like "gotcha"...

    So the owner said she would and did destroy my marks - so she rubbed her grass down to the dirt to destroy my marks ... next morning at 730am I bombed those rub out marks again and got out of there.... HA!!!

    Dont mess with the sic1 when he s performing the LAW!!! Untouchable!!! the ol trump card...

    "go ahead and call the cops" I have a right to be here and perform my duty... "ITS THE LAW" POWER TO THE LOCATOR FOR ONCE!!!!

    and i also think we should all qualify to carry a gun and wear a badge...

    If it becomes a federal thing thats good too...

    just give me full control of my work environment... is that to much to ask?!?!
    Last edited by USIC1; February 17th, 2013 at 09:32 PM.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    we don't wont the gov involved in any more than they have to be involved !!!!!!!!!!!!! NO to Gov . involvement !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Senior Member Nb22x's Avatar
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    we don't wont the gov involved in any more than they have to be involved !!!!!!!!!!!!! NO to Gov . involvement !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    In my proposal the Government would not be involved....(We would be part of it...)
    Because utility locating would be a licensed government service (not contracted), paid for by taxpayers.
    Contract locating would not exist anymore...
    Along with investment firms capitalizing off our hard work.
    Homeowner - "They still bury lines in the ground?
    I thought they didn't do that anymore!"
    Me - "Yes sir they do."
    ____________________
    Homeowner - "...But you're painting all over people's property"
    Me - "Yes I am. It's the law."
    ____________________
    Homeowner - "My gas line is not over there"
    Me - "Yes it is."

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    Member PokerAdam's Avatar
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    It is preposterous to believe that the taxpayers should pay for anything. The law as it is written specifically puts the burden on the utility owner.
    To place this in the government hands would be worse than having the utility owner mark their own utilities.
    Sure you would take any profit out of the business, but you would also take out any of the responsibility.
    As you know, there are already exemptions out there for people who damage a utility during excavation. The primary exemption goes to the homeowner.
    Also, municipalities responding to emergencies (like every morning at 6am) are also given an exemption.

    So, handing the responsibility for marking my utilities to the government would remove all responsibility to anyone for any excavation, because the government was responsible for marking the utility.

    Plus, you add on the bureaucracy of the government in getting this job done, you would have to extend the expiration date to a week, and hope they respond withing that timeframe.
    The government employee will most likely be salary and not care if he completes one or a hundred tickets that day.

    Contract locating is the only way to do this job economically and efficiently. Were time is money and production is king.

    Sorry if it sounds like I am rambling, but after a few beers, its hard to concentrate!!

    Viva la locators!!!!!

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    taxpayers don't want to pay for anything as it is ....but your idea might work >>>>
    Quote Originally Posted by Nb22x View Post
    In my proposal the Government would not be involved....(We would be part of it...)
    Because utility locating would be a licensed government service (not contracted), paid for by taxpayers.
    Contract locating would not exist anymore...
    Along with investment firms capitalizing off our hard work.
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Mke
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    Coming from a Government employee..... This would not work.

    First and foremost, most of the utilities around my neck of the woods are owned by private companies. (i.e. Centurylink, Northwest Natural, Pacific Power and Light, and Portland General Electric.) Why would you give the givernment an "in" into an industry to suck what little money there is out of it? The government won't supply locators for free, so the private companies will not play ball.

    You can say that the same people will be performing the locates, it will just change hands to a government agency. Thats not how it works. There can be a governmental regulatory board to oversee, but they wouldn't be able to perform just locates for the private utility companies.

    If you are serious about bettering the locating industry, you would have to start with a nationally recognized orginization that could certify locators and their ability to locate utilities. Similar to what the Survey industry has. ( NSPS - National Society of Professional Surveyors )

    We have to make what we do worth something, before we can ask to be paid more.

    mke

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    Senior Member Turk182's Avatar
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    Locators are government employees in Canada.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Turk182 View Post
    Locators are government employees in Canada.
    And are the utilites they mark goverment owned?

    I do not think this is universal because a contract locate firm offered me a job up there.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    Quote Originally Posted by PokerAdam View Post
    Contract locating is the only way to do this job economically and efficiently. Were time is money and production is king.

    Viva la locators!!!!!
    No it isn't and we could all be out of work in a short time.

    Which is why I will not explain it.

  12. #12
    Mke
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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    Quote Originally Posted by PokerAdam View Post
    Contract locating is the only way to do this job economically and efficiently. Were time is money and production is king.



    Viva la locators!!!!!

    I kinda skipped over this the first time reading and didn't notice till PL highlighted it. I sure hope you were goofin around with this statement.

    I'm definately not trying to get into a pissing contest, but I can take pictures of tons of paint that wasted time because what a contract locator said was there ....... wasn't.

    Again.

    fun stuff.

    mke

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    Default Re: WHAT IF... Damage Prevention Was Public/ Government?!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post

    I'm definately not trying to get into a pissing contest, but I can take pictures of tons of paint that wasted time because what a contract locator said was there ....... wasn't.
    Heh,heh,heh... yep. Guilty. Some excavators just have it coming to them. Oops! Sorry 'bout that! Had a signal there and had to paint it.

    Back to topic. If anyone thinks the state of the industry is a mess now, let a government take control. Then you'll find out how bad things can really be. I see and hear what hoops the pipeliners, and oil and gas guys and utility companies in the field have to go through to punch one hole or by-pass a mud puddle because the EPA said a turtle farted there once and it makes me realize how blessed we are all to be working at all!

    Governments don't make industry more efficient, streamlined, or productive. Because goverments business isn't and should never be business! At least no business I ever want to be in anyway...

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