The Pipeline Group, which specializes in public awareness programs for pipelines and underground utilities, is holding its annual Public Education - Contractor Awareness Program at 6:30 p.m. May 2 at the Woodward County Fairgrounds.

“The program will be sponsored by a group of companies with a common goal of preventing accidents and damages to underground pipelines and utilities,” said program coordinator LeNita Harmon. “This program will be focusing on those who are excavators and work in that area of business. We want to focus on those who dig for a living. This program will help provide safety issues for those people.”

A free dinner will be available to all persons involved in excavation related activities in Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Woods, and Woodward counties. Last year 198 people attended the Woodward program. Harmon expects a similiar number for 2006.

Following the dinner, a brief safety program will be presented which stresses the importance of working pipeline and utility companies to safely excavate in the vicinity of underground facilities.

“Sponsors will provide promotional materials and literature to take, including notification information for their companies, safety related brochures and other safety reminders,” said Harmon.

According to Harmon, the importance of knowing the proper safety precautions when digging is a knowledge that everyone should know.

“Each year many lives are injured or lost, plus millions of dollars in repair and lost products are incurred due to third party incidents, some digging into a pipeline. Thousands of communications, some life threatening, may be disrupted when expensive fiber-optic cables are damaged or severed. These types of excavation can be financially devastating to the responsible party,” said Harmon. “This safety program is an attempt to help those who do excavation work to avoid such situations.”

The event is open to the public. However, Harmon asks that you please RSVP for the program by calling 1-800-982-8752 or visit www.pipelinegroup.com

Recommended for you