Tips to Make Sure Your Crews Return Home Safely

Training, being observant and being smart all play a big part in ensuring your crews are being safe on job sites.

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Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to eliminate the potential for mistakes or accidents on a job site completely? I’m not here to tell you there is a way, because there isn’t. No matter what you or your crew do, there will always be a potential for anything to happen.

There are ways, however, that you can greatly reduce the risk of having a costly error or deadly mistake on a job.


This one should be common sense, but the best way to reduce any chance of mistakes from happening is a properly trained crew. And that starts with the owner of the company all the way down to the laborer on the job site.

The crews working need to make sure they know how to operate each piece of equipment safely. Vacuum excavation trucks, trenchers and directional drills are all dangerous if you have a crew member who doesn’t know what he or she is doing. That is when the accidents and mistakes will happen.

And it’s not just that big equipment either. You need crew training on utility locating equipment, also. How will that drill operator know if there are electrical lines or other obstacles in their way without a trained utility locating professional?

If that line isn’t marked correctly and the drill or another piece of digging equipment hits a line, it would be catastrophic — destroying equipment, buildings, neighborhoods and worse, causing deaths.

No contractor would ever want to have that on their resume, so invest in any training opportunity you can for your crews and make sure they know what they are doing before they even touch that equipment.


Even after training, crew members should never stop being observant. Just think of all the times you’ve ran across buried utilities that weren’t supposed to be there. Keep an eye on where you are digging and be ready to stop at a moment’s notice if something goes wrong.

Part of being observant could also include talking to property owners and finding out if they know of any surprises you might run into while drilling, trenching or digging. Maybe they know of something that was installed underground years ago that wouldn’t be located typically.


And the final thing you can do to cut back on costly errors or deadly mistakes is to just be smart, to make it blunt. If something doesn’t seem right or if you have a “gut” feeling that something could go wrong, trust it.

You’ve been in this industry long enough to know the dangers of it and what to look out for. The project can usually wait a day for an extra set of utility locates, have utilities exposed, or to allow your crews to not have to rush through it if it means they return home to their families at the end of the day.


What are some ways you’ve made your job sites safer for your crews? I’d like to hear your ideas and possibly share those with our readers. Call 715-350-8436 or email me at

Enjoy this issue! 


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