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FortisBC applauds City of Kamloops for stellar digging practices

JOC News Service
FortisBC applauds City of Kamloops for stellar digging practices
B.C. MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE—Crews conduct bridge maintenance in Kamloops B.C. The city is being celebrated this month by Fortis BC for having one of the best safety records in the province for digging around gas infrastructure.

KAMLOOPS, B.C.—FortisBC is praising the City of Kamloops as having one of the best digging safety records in the province.

The electricity and natural gas distribution utility noted the city is setting an excellent example for others in reducing gas line damage.

“We have seen a decrease in gas line damages in Kamloops of over 65 per cent in the last 10 years,” said Ian Turnbull, damage prevention and emergency services manager at FortisBC, in a press release. “We are pleased to see that Kamloops is trending in the right direction and we want to thank the City of Kamloops and its citizens for putting safety first.” 

When stacked up against other similarly sized municipalities, Kamloops has the fewest damages to gas line infrastructure. FortisBC noted this is an immense improvement from just nine years ago when the city struggled with the highest number of damages for a medium-sized city.

To celebrate its success and reaffirm its commitment to safety, Kamloops City Council proclaimed April 2019 as Safe Digging Awareness Month. 

“FortisBC has talked with us about examples from around the province of near misses,” said Mayor Ken Christian. “We fully support their safe digging protocols and value the importance of understanding all underground utility locations before beginning work. The City of Kamloops considers safety a top priority and has an excellent record in regard to safe digging. We are happy to be recognizing best practices during this campaign.”

While it praised Kamloops for its strong stance on safety, FortisBC wants to remind everyone to continue working with care around natural gas infrastructure – whether that be digging a backyard hole or excavating a major construction site. FortisBC noted when natural gas lines are damaged, it can cause expensive damage and require disruptive repairs.

“FortisBC works closely with communities across the province to raise awareness around safe digging practices,” said Turnbull. “Safety is a shared responsibility and the city is an ambassador for this important message.” 

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