One of our safety professionals will be playing a key new role in helping to protect the public from contacting underground utility lines.

Mark Santayana, supervisor-Public Safety, has been appointed to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s new Damage Prevention Committee. The committee is responsible for reviewing, making recommendations and resolving concerns related to the state law that requires an 811 call prior to digging.

Santayana heads up the PPL group that works to prevent contact with and damage of underground power lines.

“This is a great opportunity for PPL to be closely involved in helping to ensure public safety around underground power lines,” said Santayana, who is in his seventh year with us. “I’m honored that the PUC commissioners chose me to be a part of this very important group. We will continue doing our best to educate the public on staying safe around power lines and other electrical equipment.”

The committee of 13 people was created as part of a change to Pennsylvania’s Utility Line Protection Act. The group will meet regularly to discuss violations of that 811 law and discuss ways to ensure that the law is followed and that the public and contractors are aware of it. The ultimate goal is to improve safety and public awareness.

Santayana was recommended for the position by the Energy Association of Pennsylvania. He also is a board member of the Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc. and serves on two committees within Common Ground Alliance, an organization that protects underground utilities and the people who work and live near them.