A crew headed by Foreman Marty Krumle was transferring gas services to anew gas main when the Utility Reported visited Sparks, NV last summer. The job is part of a 10-year program by NV Energy to replace “black wrap”pipe installed in the 1950s.
Safety is always a big concern on gas jobs, according to Krumle, a member of theunion’s “Control the Pressure” peer-to-peer gas safety initiative.In addition to the explosive character of gas itself, other features of the job can introduce hazards, Krumle says.
“We have different contractors on site, we have road closures, we have heavyequipment, we have men on the ground and in and out of holes,” as well as residents coming back and forth from work, “so we’ve got to keep our head on a swivel,” he says.
He believes the union’s model of peer-to-peer interaction is far more effective than a disciplinary approach in making employees more aware of safety issues. The entire gas department turned out in early 2012 for the presentation by the union’s Control the Pressure committee. Says Krumle: “There’s a chance of something dangerous happening on any day. We take time for safety because those dangers exist.”