Miss Dig 811 Live!

MISS DIG 811 LIVE! is a pro-gram that addresses the need for outreach while promoting
safe excavation. Public Act 174,
Michigan’s MISS DIG law en-acted in 2013, has stimulated spirited opportunities for en-gagement. A stronger, more expanded version of the previous law, Public Act 53, demands an even more aware, communicative, and collaborative stakeholder community.

One facet of this that we are promoting is our online Safety Management System (SMS) Certification Program. This program is a learning management system that includes a group of educational modules, each followed by a series of questions with tracked responses. The pro-gram was developed with funding from a PHMSA State Damage Prevention Grant (SDP). Under this grant, we were able to add a Locator Safety module, supplement the cost of exca-vators taking the tests, as well as pay for an interactive Turning Technology system.  Additionally, MISS DIG 811 received funding from the Natural Gas and Pipeline members of our Excavator Education Program (EEP) for RP 1162 compliance. In this collaborative effort, the funding we received supplemented the testing costs and the Gas Pipeline Safety module in the SMS program.

Recently, we found that there is enthusiasm for taking the SMS Certification Program “on the road” across the state of Michigan; therefore, we now offer free workshops called “Safe Excavation Practices.” Through these workshops, we have generated more interest and buy-in among our stakeholders.

We try to make these workshops interesting and interactive, as well as up-to-date. To ensure the integrity of certification, participants provide answers to questions after each topic (module) using individualized “live polling” through the Turning Technology system. Participants are assigned clickers during the workshop, which are used to answer multiple choice questions that determine their individual understanding of the covered material. We encourage feedback from our participants and include survey questions to the end of each presentation that help assess our success and identify those areas where we may have missed the mark. The group results are presented in a PowerPoint presentation so that all participants
can share in the group’s learning success. This encourages continued engagement and atten-tiveness.

Upon completion of the program, which is presented by the MISS DIG 811 Education Depart-ment, participants are MISS DIG 811 Certified. The benefits that participants receive from the program include:

• Companies can hold employees and hired contractors to the highest excavation standards.
• Stakeholders appreciate that safe practices prevent injuries, property damage, inconvenient outages, project delays, and higher costs.
• Companies can market themselves as safety-certified.
• For interested parties, we provide Michigan Continuing Education Credit for such programs as MDEQ Drinking Water and MDEQ Waste Water.

Another way MISS DIG 811 is reaching out to our stakeholder community is through our tele-conferences. This program, Open Mic LIVE!, allows participants all over Michigan to call in from their office or worksites. There are several opportunities per month that can be selected based on region or convenience. Participants learn about the relevant “nuts and bolts” topic of the month. During the session, as they hear from a variety of other facility owners and excavators, they also have the opportunity to ask questions about any topic. The benefits of participation include:

• Dialogue on participant-initiated topics
• Basic review and updates of current and interesting topics
• Facility owners/operators and excavators are invited to participate
• Concerns can be channeled to our Michigan Damage Prevention Board for Best Practices review

Invitations to these teleconferences announcing the topic are emailed to our contacts monthly.

MISS DIG 811 hopes to make a measurable difference in reducing the excavation damages in the state of Michigan by identifying innovative ways that help increase awareness and alter behavior patterns that lead to damage.

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