The Underground Detective’s number one priority on each and every job is safety; the safety of employees, underground unknowns, and the safety of our customers. We take pride in the work we do and spend an extensive amount of time on training our employees to be the best and safest utility locators. Below is an excerpt taken from Cleaner Magazine’s “Locating Firm Finds Opportunities for Growth” that talks about our safety and training processes.
The Underground Detective on Safety
It can take up to a year before a new employee at The Underground Detective is ready to take on a job solo. That’s because providing superb service is the top priority for the Cincinnati-based utility locating firm. It’s also the reason the business has grown slowly — yet steadily — since its startup more than two decades ago.
“We’re not a fast-moving company,” says Rob Harris, company president. “We’re definitely about gradual growth, but that’s because we like to keep control on the quality of the product. We take a long time to train our employees before we let them run loose on their own. Utility locating is a hard business. You can have all the pieces of equipment in the world and there could still be a utility you might miss. We try to do everything we can to find every utility for customers, and part of that is quality control and making sure our employees are doing all the steps we want them to do.”
New employees begin with several months of training at the home base in Cincinnati, which includes getting caught up on various safety requirements.
“Our safety training is very extensive,” Harris says. “We do a lot of OSHA training and defensive-driver training. There’s not a company out there that we can’t get access to because of our safety training.”
That initial phase of training is followed by several more months of a new hire riding along with some of the company’s more experienced technicians. Then the new employee takes the lead but is still shadowed for a period of time to ensure that they have a complete understanding of the company’s procedures when tackling a locating job.
“It’s a nine-month to yearlong process before they’re out there on their own,” Harris says.
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