Contractor takes action

By Lois Bentivegna

A National Grid contractor crew from Harlan Construction averted a hazardous situation and may have even saved a life. The crew was assigned to replace a pole in a residential area in Western NY. A private vehicle was parked near the pole that was to be replaced. Following safety procedures to clear the Drop Zone, the crew’s foreman knocked on the homeowner’s door to ask him to relocate his vehicle so that work could be done safely. When the homeowner came to the door, the foreman smelled a heavy natural gas odor coming from inside the home and advised the homeowner to immediately evacuate.

Coincidentally, a utility meter reader was in the neighborhood, and the foreman waved him down and explained the situation. When a Trouble Crew arrived, they found a cracked gas line to the stove. Earlier that day, the homeowner installed a new stove and then went to sleep. The connection wasn’t leaking, but the gas line had cracked when the stove was moved into place, and the home had been filling up with gas.

The foreman later said, “My knocking on the door is what woke him up. Imagine what could have happened?”  At first, he chalked it up to luck, until he thought more about it. “After letting it sink in a bit, a good part is due to our safety policies. It’s our policy to have vehicles moved away from the work site whenever possible. The crew was just following safety procedures.”

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