Charlottesville Gas wins damage prevention award

charlottesvilleThe Virginia Division of Utility and Railroad Safety has recently announced Charlottesville Gas as this year’s winner of the annual Damage Prevention Leadership Award. The award was presented to Utilities Director Lauren Hildebrand at the Damage Prevention Conference in Virginia Beach on April 18th.

The Damage Prevention Leadership Award was established to recognize individuals, companies or stakeholder groups that have demonstrated a significant impact on damage prevention in Virginia though different leadership roles. Recipients are voted on by the Damage Prevention Advisory Committee before being presented to the Commission for approval.

Charlottesville Gas’ damage prevention program took off in 2014 with the implementation of the outreach program “Dig with Care” and the outsourcing of its gas line location operation. The program includes a series of “Marty’s Minute” radio spots, annual VA811 Day celebrations, excavation safety training workshops, distributing VA811 kits to local contractors, and outsourcing the utility location process to improve its accuracy. Charlottesville Gas’ mascot, Flicker the Flame, also contributed to spreading awareness about safe digging and calling VA811. Since the program’s start, there has been a 75% reduction in gas line damage caused by third party excavators.

The Pipeline Safety section of the Division of Utility and Railroad Safety helps ensure the safe operation of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities through inspections of facilities, review of records and investigation of incidents. The awards program was created in 2001, and features four different categories relating to damage prevention. These awards are presented annually at the Damage Prevention Conference, which also includes progress reports and break-out sessions on recent and emerging safety issues.

Charlottesville Gas has been providing residents of Charlottesville and Albemarle County with safe, efficient, reliable and economical service for over 150 years.