Always observed on the last full week of April, this year’s Locator Safety & Appreciation Week (LSAW) is April 24-30. LSAW is about letting locators know how much we appreciate the difficult, challenging, and sometimes dangerous work they do protecting our underground utilities. LSAW is also the perfect time to recognize and appreciate the critical role locators play in the overall utilities landscape. The safe installation and protection of utilities relies on the everyday diligence and hard work of locators.
Last year, the theme of LSAW was ”Getting Home Safely”, where we celebrated the safety of not only locators themselves, but the safe environments their work creates for everyone on a jobsite. This year, we’re recognizing just how much of the work around us – from roadways, to utilities, to landscape projects – is made possible by the initial work of locators. Progress is made possible through their accurate marks.
Given the challenges of the job on which so much depends, LSAW is a great time to show appreciation for these unsung heroes of the damage prevention industry. There are many creative ways to do this, and the most effective strategies are ones that invite people to take responsibility for safe practices and encourages them to campaign for safety both on and off the job. Here are a few ideas:
- Nulca, a driving force behind the development of LSAW, encourages its member companies to have daily safety talks with their locators and to designate one of the days during LSAW as “Locator Appreciation Day,” thanking them for a job well done. LSAW is just as much about expressing our gratitude as it is about spreading safety awareness.
- Share ways you have or plan to appreciate locators at your job! A form is available at LocatorSafety.com, and we would love to share your ideas and actions with the dp-PRO readership.
- Hold a locator safety coffee break and provide coffee and treats. Engage in both formal and informal discussions on safety while communicating thanks to locators for their hard work.
- Let locators know they are appreciated with small gifts like coffee mugs and t-shirts that combine a safety message with your company logo. Not only does this make the locator feel appreciated, but it’s a great way to get the word out.
- Reach out to the media to get some local coverage. Even a small notice in a newspaper or a 30-second story on a local television or radio station can help educate the community at large about the valuable role that locators play in keeping neighborhoods safe. Many people are curious about the meaning of paint marks and flags, and LSAW is a wonderful time to teach the public about what locators do. It’s also a perfect opportunity to enhance your image within the community.
These are just a few of the possibilities. When you add your creative ideas to the mix and take advantage of all the FREE resources provided by Infrastructure Resources on the LSAW website (www.locator safety.com), planning your involvement in Locator Safety & Appreciation Week could not be easier.
This year, as in previous years, suggested daily social media posts are available for download. Post or share these messages to provide daily safety reminders throughout LSAW. Public interaction like this helps to increase positive attitudes about the important job locators perform. What better way to show appreciation for locators than by spreading the message about the critical work they do!