Closing Gaps in Damage Prevention with New Best Practices and First-Ever Online Training. Coastal and Marine Operators (CAMO) Focuses on Marine Damage Prevention.

The United States has a wealth of natural resources; everything from habitat to petroleum reserves is unequalled. Many U.S. citizens work in fishing, marine, waterways and energy-related industries. Pipelines safely convey an array of liquids and gases within, and well beyond, our coastlines. Dredging and many other types of marine construction and excavation activities occur daily. Land building and navigation all are vital to the U.S. economy. Altogether, these riches of natural resources, economic activity, and restoration efforts pose special challenges with pipeline safety in marine environments.

New pipelines and utilities are being installed or updated every day, combined with increasing dredging and marine construction activity in the same waters. The chance of a marine vessel contacting underwater infrastructure continues to grow. Accidental interactions and incidents have caused spills, outages, gas releases, injuries, and loss of human life. Closing the safety and damage prevention gaps within lakes, bays, rivers, bayous, inlets, oceans and gulfs is the primary focus of Coastal and Marine Operators (CAMO). “Marine Damage Prevention” and calling 811 for underwater locates are not equally understood as they are on land.

Best Practices

Oil and gas pipelines, along with a wide array of utilities, crisscross U.S. waterways in record number. Therefore, a new recommended best practices guide titled *“Working Safely Near Underwater Pipelines”* was released in 2019 along with a corresponding “Safety and Emergency Tip Card” for jobsite use. Both documents help to ensure the continued safety and environmental protection that we all strive to maintain and enhance.

The two new publications were distributed at the annual Coastal and Marine Safety Emergency Response Workshop on November 6, 2019 in New Orleans, LA. The meeting was co-hosted by the organizations who prepared these new tools: CAMO and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF). It should be noted that support and funding from multiple partners and agencies also made this project possible.

The picture-packed, best practices guide leads personnel involved in underwater or marine projects through long-term and short-term project planning steps. It also includes guidance during construction. The new pocket-sized, waterproof safety and emergency tip card also serves as a checklist or safety meeting topic at the jobsite.

Nationwide Online Training

In summer of 2020, the first-ever national online and interactive pipeline safety training program was released. The online training program complements the recommended best practices and tip card highlighted above. This online training has something for everyone no matter what their role entails, even if it is land based. Although designed for mariners, underwater construction and the pipeline industry, it addresses general safety and damage prevention that can apply to all facilities. Telecommunications, electric, water and other utility lines often traverse some type of waterway.

This one-hour online training has seven training sections that can be completed at different intervals from a desktop, laptop, phone or even a tablet, whichever fits your lifestyle. The training covers One Call, project planning, personnel roles, communication, timing, marking, tolerance zones and emergency response. The training is FREE for the first 500 users with a small one-time admin fee of $5 afterwards. All contractors and pipeline personnel engaged in marine construction, pipeline safety, or related activities should consider this online training as a valuable resource when working near underwater pipelines. Closing gaps in all aspects of damage prevention gets everyone closer to zero accidents!

You can download “Working Safely Near Underwater Pipelines” best practices and the “Safety and Emergency Tip Card” for FREE at Register for the online training at or through the online training link at

CAMO invites you to join us for our annual meeting held during Damage Prevention Week in conjunction with the Global Excavation Safety Conference in Tampa, FL, March 23, 2021.

For more information on joining CAMO or questions on this article, contact Ed Landgraf at


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