CONSTRUCTION & ENERGIZED ELECTRICAL UTILITIES

OSHA has included electrocutions as part of the Focus Four Hazards for construction because of the persistence and significance of this hazard. The Focus Four Hazards represent the causes of nearly 60% of all construction fatalities each year.

Electrocution caused by contact with energized power lines is a significant cause of fatalities in construction. Some examples of equipment that could contact power lines are cranes, pile drivers, guardrail drilling rigs, backhoes, excavators, front-end loaders, trenching machines, dump trucks and concrete pumping trucks.

Keep in mind on every construction project:

  • Survey the site, identify overhead power lines and post DANGER signs and visible barriers at all potentially dangerous locations.
  • Maintain at least 10 feet of clearance between equipment and power lines energized with less than 50,000 volts. For power lines carrying more energy, increase the distance by one foot for every 30,000 volts.
  • If you must operate equipment close to the power line, use a spotter to identify when you’re nearing the minimum approach distance limit.
  • Before beginning paving or any other road work activity, survey the area for any power lines that cross over the roadway, post DANGER signage notifying dump truck drivers to lower their beds before traveling under overhead power lines and bridges.
  • If you must work close to a power line, consider calling the responsible utility to have the line protected during the operation.
  • Before beginning ANY work activity in which you will penetrate the ground, call Indiana Underground Plant Protection Services (Indiana 811) at 811 or 800-382-5544 at least two full working days before you begin the work activity and have them locate the underground utilities. Do not begin work until this has been done.
  • Once the locate service has marked the location of the buried utility, pothole/daylight to positively identify and expose the buried utility.
  • Maintain a clearance of not less than two feet around the diameter of the buried utility with all mechanized equipment.
  • Protect all underground utility markers from damage and replace them as needed.
  • Situate jobsite unloading and storage areas in open areas away from overhead power lines.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

2017 Indiana Legislative Wrap-Up

Executive Summary

  • The transportation industry and Indiana will benefit greatly with the passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Funding House Bill 1002. The bill adds to current funding in the amount of $617 million in fiscal year 2018 and escalates annually to $1.209 billion in 2024.
  • A local governmental unit and a land developer may agree to the partial release of a performance bond or other surety on a more frequent basis than an annual basis. (HB 1117)
  • The adoption or enforcement of an ordinance requiring a commercial motor vehicle to obtain a permit to operate within the jurisdiction of the local authority is prohibited. Language was included to direct local authorities to issue refunds of amounts paid by a commercial motor vehicle operator to obtain a permit to operate the commercial motor vehicle. (HB 1422)
  • A stinger-steered (rear hitch mount) vehicle may have a maximum length per two coupled vehicles of 80 feet replacing the current maximum of 75 feet. (HB 1422)
  • Upon approaching a stationary survey or construction vehicle, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and proceed with caution. (HB 1491)

The Details

FUNDING

HB 1002 Transportation Infrastructure Funding (SOLIDAY E)
The legislature was successful in passing a sustainable long term transportation infrastructure bill. The bill will result in additional funding of $617 million in FY 2018 growing each year to an additional $1.209 billion in FY 2024. Specific bill details are as follows:

  • Raises gas, diesel and motor carrier surcharge taxes by 10 cents each beginning in FY18 and indexes the taxes annually for seven years with a one cent per year cap.
  • Gradually shifts the sales tax on gas to the state highway fund by 2025 (but allows the Governor to hold back these funds for general fund purposes subject to review by the state budget committee).
  • Increases the International Registration Plan and BMV registration fees by 25% for trucks greater than 26,000 lbs.
  • Implements a $15 statewide transportation infrastructure fee for all vehicles less than 26,000 lbs.
  • Implements an annual electric vehicle fee of $150 and a hybrid fee of $50.
  • Eliminates the sales tax on special fuel.
  • Requires INDOT to study tolling and to apply for a federal tolling waiver; requires state budget committee review before INDOT could implement tolling.
  • Requires INDOT to develop metrics and prioritize projects using a data-driven model.
  • Moves the motor carrier surcharge tax to the pump and applies to all diesel buyers.
  • Continues the community crossing matching grant program for locals and modifies the match requirements as follows: counties over 50,000 population and cities/towns over 10,000 population will be at a 50/50 match; counties under 50,000 population and cities/towns under 10,000 population will be at a 75/25 match.
  • Allows INDOT to operate a federal funds exchange program with locals.
  • Extends local wheel tax/surtax adoption deadlines.
  • Restricts local uses of MVH funds to exclude paying for police and painting structures and requires that 50% of MVH funds be used for construction, reconstruction and maintenance.
  • Phases in changes to the MVH split from current 53% state/47% local to 60% state and 40% local beginning in FY18 and ending in FY23.
  • Allows the IFA to facilitate the completion of a P3 project in a situation where the P3 agreement has been terminated or the IFA has exercised its right to seek remedies.

SB 128 REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS (MESSMER M)
Provides that the Indiana finance authority (IFA), rather than the budget agency, administers the local infrastructure revolving loan funds (loan funds). Expands the types of entities that may participate in the loan funds. Authorizes the IFA to issue its bonds to carry out the loan funds. Expands the types of infrastructure that are eligible for the loan funds to include bridges or other public ways. Provides that a regional development authority (RDA) may apply for a “FASTLANE” grant from the Federal Highway Administration (or a grant from any other federal program) for highway funding. Authorizes an RDA to enter into a supplemental funding agreement with the Indiana department of transportation or a political subdivision to contribute local matching funds to be used to pay a part or all of the nonfederal share of the costs necessary to carry out regional transportation infrastructure projects. Allows a county or municipality participating in an RDA to transfer money to a fund from its general fund or rainy day fund (or other available fund) to the RDA for purposes of providing funds for regional transportation infrastructure projects. Provides that a city, county, or political subdivision that fails to make a payment or transfer to a development authority as required is subject to a deduction by the state treasurer and a deduction of available funds from the development authority. Creates the regional development authority infrastructure fund (infrastructure fund). Provides that a regional development authority may expend money in the fund for certain infrastructure development projects. Provides that the IFA will administer the infrastructure fund. Provides an adjusted gross income tax deduction to a taxpayer that makes a contribution or gift to the infrastructure fund. Allows a county, city, or town to provide local income tax revenue to the infrastructure fund. Upon recommendation by an RDA, authorizes a county or municipality to establish a cumulative fund for the purpose of funding regional transportation infrastructure projects.

STATE AND LOCAL PUBLIC WORKS

HB 1117 PERFORMANCE BOND REQUIREMENTS (MILLER D)
Provides that a local governmental unit and a land developer may agree to the partial release of a performance bond or other surety required of the land developer to ensure the completion of certain unfinished improvements and installations in a subdivision on a more frequent basis than an annual basis. (Under current law, a performance bond or other surety may be partially released on an annual basis, which would continue to be permitted.) Provides that a contractor is not required to submit a payment bond for a public works contract of a state educational institution if the amount to be paid under the contract is less than $500,000 and the state educational institution agrees to waive the requirement. Provides that a contractor is not required to submit a performance bond for a public works contract of a state educational institution if the amount to be paid under the contract is less than $500,000 and the state educational institution agrees to waive the requirement. Makes a technical change to make language in the statute uniform.

SB 472 REQUESTS TO LOCATE UNDERGROUND UTILITY FACILITIES (CRIDER M)
Amends the statute concerning the locating and marking of underground utility facilities (Indiana’s 811 law) to allow a person responsible for: (1) a construction project; or (2) any other project or operation; that will involve an excavation or demolition operation to provide a voluntary design information notice to the association known as the Indiana Underground Plant Protection Service (association) before commencing preliminary engineering studies or construction planning activities in the project area that will be affected by the excavation or demolition. Provides that a design information notice must be received by the association at least 10 full working days but not more than 20 calendar days before the commencement of the preliminary engineering studies or construction planning activities. Specifies the information that must be included in a design information notice. Provides that not more than two design information notices for the same project and from the same person or source may be submitted in any given 180 day period. Requires the association, upon receiving a design information notice, to: (1) notify each utility operator that has underground facilities located in the affected project area; and (2) provide the person serving the design information notice a list of the identified operators. Requires an operator, upon receiving notice of a submitted design information notice, to contact the person serving the design information notice within 10 days and do one or more of the following: (1) Provide a description of, and location information for, the operator’s underground facilities in the affected project area. (2) Allow the person serving the design information notice to inspect, at a location acceptable to the operator, drawings or other records for the operator’s underground facilities in the affected project area. (3) Designate with temporary facility markers the location of the operator’s underground facilities within the affected project area. Allows an operator to reject a design information notice: (1) based on security considerations; or (2) if producing the required description of, or location information for, the operator’s affected underground facilities would place the operator at a competitive disadvantage; pending the operator’s verification of the legitimacy of the design information notice. Provides that the submission of a design information notice does not relieve a person responsible for the excavation or demolition operation involved in the project from providing the notice required under the law before commencing the excavation or demolition operation. Removes a provision in the statute that requires a county recorder who receives an inquiry from a person seeking to provide the required notice of an excavation or demolition to refer the person to the association.

HB 1422 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PROPERTY MATTERS (PRESSEL J)
Provides that the commissioner of the department may transfer certain real property owned by the department to a nonprofit land management organization without a prior appraisal if: (1) the real property is owned by the department in fee simple; and (2) the real property is nonmarketable due to environmental mitigation requirements imposed by federal or state regulations. Requires the department to establish rules for approving installation of traffic control signals. Defines certain terms. Prohibits the adoption or enforcement of an ordinance requiring a commercial motor vehicle to obtain a permit to operate within the jurisdiction of the local authority. Adds noncode to provide a refund of amounts paid by a commercial motor vehicle operator to obtain a permit to operate the commercial motor vehicle within the jurisdiction of the local authority.

LEGAL

HB 1491 VARIOUS MOTOR VEHICLE LAW AMENDMENTS. (SOLIDAY E)
Renames the county motor vehicle excise surtax to be the county vehicle excise tax. Renames the municipal motor vehicle license excise surtax to be the municipal vehicle excise tax. Renames the motor vehicle license excise tax to be the vehicle excise tax. Makes other revisions in the following statutes: (1) The vehicle excise tax. (2) The excise tax on recreational vehicles and truck campers. (3) The commercial vehicle excise tax. (4) The boat excise tax. Makes clarifying amendments in Title 9. Provides that an autocycle manufactured before July 1, 2015, is not required to be equipped with antilock brakes. Provides that an ordinance adopted by a county, city, or town authorizing the operation of a golf cart or an off-road vehicle on the highways of the county, city, or town must require an individual who operates the golf cart or off-road vehicle: (1) to hold a driver’s license (current law); or (2) be at least 16 years and 180 days of age and hold an identification card issued by the bureau of motor vehicles, including a photo exempt identification card. Provides that the definition of “farm wagon” exempts off-road vehicles from title and registration procedures when the farm wagon is used on private farm property. Provides that upon approaching a stationary survey or construction vehicle, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and proceed with caution. Removes the sunset clause for distributions of fee revenue to the integrated public safety communications fund. Amends the Abraham Lincoln license plate statute. Exempts the Lewis and Clark expedition license plate from the specialty group license plate requirements. Provides that a court may not award attorney’s fees in a class action suit against a governmental entity until a hearing is held. Emphasizes that a permanent registration must be renewed on an annual basis to pay all applicable excise tax. Urges the legislative council to assign to the interim study committee on roads and transportation for study during the 2017 interim the topic of the motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program in Lake and Porter counties and whether there are alternatives to the program that would satisfy regulatory requirements and have a comparable effect on air quality. Makes conforming amendments.

HB 1447 TRANSPORTATION OF AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES (FRIEND W)
Provides that an owner of a “carrier, shipper, or other party” may not cause or knowingly permit a vehicle to: (1) exceed certain size or weight restrictions; and (2) be operated upon a highway. Specifies that certain infractions concerning vehicle size and weight are Class C infractions. Prohibits the bureau of motor vehicles from assessing points under the point system for violations of commercial size and weight limitations after December 31, 2015. Provides that points assessed for such violations after December 31, 2015 are null and void.

COMMERCIAL

SB 353 REAL PROPERTY IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTS (HEAD R)
Amends the statute concerning home improvement contracts to do the following: (1) Redesignate a “home improvement contract” a “real property improvement contract” and make conforming changes in terminology throughout the statute. (2) Specify that for purposes of the statute, improvements include interior improvements made to real property, including improvements made to a basement. (3) Expand a consumer’s right to cancel a contract to include canceling a contract before midnight on the third business day after the later of the following: (A) The date the contract is signed by the consumer and the real property improvement supplier. (B) If applicable, the date the consumer receives written notice from the consumer’s insurance company of a final determination as to whether the consumer’s claim or the contract is a covered loss under an insurance policy. (Current law allows an insured consumer to cancel a contract only before midnight on the third business day after the insured consumer has received written notice from the consumer’s insurance company that any part of the claim or contract is not a covered loss under the insurance policy.) (4) Require that a real property improvement contract include an electronic mail address for the real property improvement supplier and each owner, officer, employee, or agent to whom consumer problems and inquiries can be directed. (5) Allow a consumer to submit a notice of contract cancellation by electronic mail. (6) Prohibit a third party subcontractor or vendor from initiating or pursuing a claim with an insured consumer’s insurance company. (7) Provide that a real property improvement contract: (A) may not assign any rights of the consumer to any supplier or third party; and (B) must reflect the full amount of the contract price, less any discounts offered. (8) Make it a Class A misdemeanor for a real property improvement supplier or a third party to recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally impersonate a consumer.

FAILED LEGISLATION OF INTEREST

HB 1226 PIPING MATERIALS FOR PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS (VANNATTER H)
Provides, for purposes of the law on public works projects of state agencies and political subdivisions, including design-build public works projects, that: (1) the specifications or design criteria package must specify that all piping materials that meet the recognized standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials or the American Water Works Association may be acquired for and used in the projects; and (2) in the acquisition of piping materials for a project, the characteristics of the piping materials as to quality, sustainability, durability, and corrosion resistance of the piping materials shall be considered, where applicable.

HB 1261 AUTOMATED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT (SOLIDAY E)
Authorizes a county, city, or town to adopt and enforce an ordinance (ordinance) that regulates the placement and use of automated traffic enforcement safety devices (devices) to detect certain traffic offenses (offenses). Authorizes the department of transportation and the Indiana finance authority to use devices and to adopt rules concerning devices to enforce the collection of judgments for violations of highway work zone speed limits. Provides for civil penalties for offenses and violations. Specifies that the civil penalty must be applied first to defray the cost of the installation, operation, and maintenance of the devices, and specifies the manner in which the remaining funds are distributed. Prohibits the: (1) reporting of offenses and violations on a driving record; (2) use of offenses and violations to determine rates for motor vehicle insurance; and (3) assessment of points under the point system by the bureau of motor vehicles (bureau) for offenses and violations. Requires notification to the bureau if offenses and violations have not been paid timely. Requires the bureau to suspend the registration of a vehicle and deny the transfer of the title of the vehicle when the offenses and violations have not been paid.

HB 1266 PERFORMANCE AND PAYMENT BONDS (GUTWEIN D)
Requires that public-private agreements must contain performance bond and payment bond requirements.

HB 1351 MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT VEHICLE RENTAL EXCISE TAX (HUSTON T)
Excludes certain motorized equipment vehicles from the assessment of the personal property tax. Imposes an excise tax on the rental of those motorized equipment vehicles (excise tax). Provides procedures for the sourcing, collection, and distribution of the excise tax. Provides that the excise tax is apportioned and distributed to local governmental units in the same manner that property taxes are apportioned and distributed.

SB 308 ASSESSMENT OF HEAVY EQUIPMENT OFFERED FOR RENT (HERSHMAN B)
Provides that motorized heavy equipment vehicles that are leased, or held for lease, by the owner and are otherwise subject to the personal property tax shall be assessed for property tax purposes at the place of the owner’s business location at which the motorized heavy equipment vehicle was leased, or is held for lease, as recorded on the owner’s books and records on the assessment date. Provides that the owner is not required to file a personal property tax return for a motorized heavy equipment vehicle in a township or county other than the township or county of the owner’s business location in which the motorized heavy equipment vehicle is assessed and subject to taxation under the amended law, regardless of the place where the motorized heavy equipment vehicle may be situated as of the assessment date. (Under current law, an owner must file a personal property tax return in the township or county in which the motorized heavy equipment vehicle is situated for regular use on the assessment date.)

Call Before You Dig

According to Indiana Code 8-1-26, you must call the Indiana Underground Plant Protection Service Call Before You Dig Center before beginning any excavation project. The number is 811.

OSHA 1926 Standard for Construction, Subpart B, also requires that you determine the estimated location of utility installations, such as sewer, telephone, fuel, electric water lines or any other underground installation that may be encountered before opening an excavation.

Premark your location with white paint, flags or both. Call the 811 number at least two full working days before you dig. Provide the center with the location of the site. Be specific. The center will give you a reference number that is proof of your call. After making the call to 811, you must wait 48 hours before beginning work to ensure that all utility companies have had time to respond.

When utility locators respond to your request, they will mark the utilities with paint or flags. Below are the colors that may be used for marking and what they represent:

callbeforeyoudig

If weather, lawn mowing, traffic or other activities cause you to lose your marks, notify Indiana 811 immediately and have your reference number ready to request a remark. Do not refresh the marks with your own paint. An additional notice of two full working days is required for the remark.

Indiana law requires that the excavator observe the tolerance zone during excavation. That is an area equal to the width of the underground facility plus 24 inches on each side of the buried utility. Excavate by hand, if necessary, until the utility is visibly located. Be sure someone other than the equipment operator, i.e. the spotter, is there to look for any sign of the underground facility.

For your safety, don’t assume that a pipeline or cable runs straight between two markers. Don’t assume that an underground facility is the same depth throughout the excavation area. Don’t bend over a gas line or self-repair a line. And don’t assume all utilities have responded to your request. Assess the proposed excavation area for indications of unmarked facilities.

If your job will last longer than 20 calendar days, you must renew your locate request at least two full working days before it expires.

When you call before you dig, you are helping to protect yourself, your fellow workers and the public, as well as the environment.

Download the recording form here.