Page 7 - Mississippi 811 Magazine 2021 Issue 4
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his locators on how to correct common issues with lines that won’t locate, and even provides the equipment and materials to repair grounding and bonding to make sure all lines are locatable by electronic means.
But it’s his damage investigations where his sense of fairness and thorough nature shine through strongest. He makes sure to investigate, photograph and document any time there’s a damage to one of C Spire’s facilities, or if one of his contractors damages another utility’s lines.
“A dime’s a dime, and you can be honest or lie, but the
“I’m the first to tell them that if I don’t do right, they need to report me for a
truth is the truth,” he said, adding that if one of his contractors is found to be at fault for damaging a line, he will hold them accountable. “If I have a contractor that’s causing damages constantly, they’re gonna move on,” he said.
He also makes surprise visits to job sites to make sure things are going according to plan. It’s not generally under his job title, but he wants to make sure the company is seen in a positive light. He will correct issues like leaving a job site messy or not completing the job.
Marty is also a huge champion of Mississippi 811. He of course works closely with the one call center for locates, but also helps to educate locators, contractors and even other utility owner/operators to get the most out of their experience.
“There are times when other entities like a city or another utility owner I know needs help to figure out what’s going on with a job site, I can dig through tickets and show them how to do searches for what they need,” he said. “I’ve gotten calls where they say, ‘you damaged me here,’ but I haven’t done any work in that area. I usually tell them since you called, let me see who did damage you. Give me five minutes and I’ll find the ticket. Then I’ll tell them they can do it themselves next time and teach them how.”
According to Marty, the most common source of damages is contractors buying their own equipment and trying to handle locates on their own.
“These locators go out with no understanding of depth, false locates or interference. It gives them a false sense of security, when they combine that with a failure to non- mechanically investigate or (potholing), that’s when the damage occurs.”
“Almost every underground construction crew has a transmitter/ locator and someone who thinks they can run it,” he said. “I have been told, ‘locating is so easy, a monkey can do it.’ And I tell them, send me your monkey, I’m gonna need to teach them some things.”
2021, Issue 4
Mississippi 811 • 5

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