News Briefs: Utility Location Could have Saved Worker

In this week’s news, a utility in California is being fined following an accident that killed a worker, Ditch Witch draws record attendance at international event and Jason Andringa takes over as CEO at Vermeer
News Briefs: Utility Location Could have Saved Worker

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A work site accident last April that killed one man and left 12 more injured might have been prevented if the California Public Works Department had properly surveyed the site and located the gas line that caused the explosion. 

Now the Fresno County Public Works Department faces a fine upwards of $101,000 for violating five state work rules. The citations say the county never surveyed the site or contacted any public utility about the work being performed.

Investigators say the explosion was caused when a front loader operated by a county employee hit an underground gas line.

The county can appeal the citations.

Ditch Witch Hosts International Event with Record-Setting Attendance

Ditch Witch hosted its annual international customer event in Spain on Oct. 23, setting a record for attendance with nearly 300 customers and staff, representing more than 20 countries. The organization has hosted this event for 14 years.

At the event, Ditch Witch provided a variety of products for attendees to learn about and demo, including drills, trenchers, vacuum excavators, as well as HammerHead piercing tools and Subsite Electronics technology.

There was also a drilling contest held, with four customer teams from the U.K., Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands competing. The U.K. team came out on top, earning a trophy and Ditch Witch prize pack.

Third-Generation President, CEO Begins Tenure at Vermeer

As part of the family succession planning process announced in August 2014, Jason Andringa began his tenure as president and CEO of Vermeer Corporation on Nov. 1.

“I’m excited, honored and humbled to have the opportunity to continue my family’s legacy of leadership at Vermeer into the third generation,” Andinga said in a statement.

Prior to becoming president and CEO, Andringa served as president and COO, in addition to a number of other roles at Vermeer. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Calvin College and also earned a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.


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