Ohio State Fair celebrates safe-digging message
Visitors to this year’s Ohio State Fair were greeted by large excavation equipment and interactive displays reinforcing the message to always call 811 before beginning any digging project. The 811 promotion was sponsored by Marathon Pipe Line LLC (MPL) in honor of National 811 Day (Aug. 11, or 8/11).
MPL recognized its right-of-way landowners in Ohio by giving them free admission to the fair and inviting them to a picnic hosted by MPL employees on July 31. Through interactive booths, landowners learned about safety while living along the pipeline. In total, 55 MPL employees participated in the event, which hosted more than 350 landowners.
“The landowners along our pipelines are very important in maintaining pipeline integrity,” said MPL Damage Prevention Supervisor Karen Byers. “Events like this one are a great way to spread the safe-digging message while earning our landowners’ trust, getting to know them personally, and thanking them for their continued protection of our pipelines.”
MPL also displayed an 18-foot in-line inspection (ILI) tool, commonly referred to as a “smart pig,” which is used to collect data inside pipelines to identify irregularities requiring maintenance.
“It is important for us to demonstrate the effort that goes into keeping our pipelines safe,” said MPL Damage Prevention Analyst Lauren Salinski, who also coordinated the event. “The ILI tool is a cool piece of technology that allows us to do that.”
MPL partnered with Ohio Utilities Protection Services (OUPS) to showcase two excavators, equipped with 811 banners, at the front entrance gate. OUPS also assisted at an outreach booth at the fair. The booth facilitated one-on-one education moments with those who stopped by. Visitors also had the opportunity to win prizes at the 811 prize wheel, and a sandbox was available for children to play in.
“Including mailings, fair attendance, outreach booth visits, signage, giveaways, and commercial announcements, we delivered the 811 message to about 110,000 people,” said Salinski. “We’re extremely grateful to all of those who made this year’s 811 Day celebration a success.”