Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit

ON FEBRUARY 22, 2023, the volunteers of Common Ground Nebraska took over the 84,000 square-foot Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln to host the 2023 Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit. The event was provided completely free of charge to participants through the generosity of volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and donors.

The Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit grows each year and is always successful at spreading the safety and damage prevention message to a huge audience. Approximately 1,150 employees from excavation contractors, utilities, pipelines, municipalities, and construction companies attended an entire day of high-quality safety and damage prevention training. The Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit continues to be one of the leading excavation and damage prevention safety events in the United States.

The day-long event was packed with activity. Special guest speakers included Nebraska’s State Fire Marshal Scott Cordes, and the 2023 Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit keynote speaker was Olympic Gold wrestling champion and University of Nebraska alumni Rulon Gardner.

Education throughout the day focused on topics like risk management, damage prevention, excavation safety, and employee safety. Sessions provided throughout the day included:

• A damage prevention comedy sketch “Damage Prevention Ain’t no Joke!” by Kris Covi
• CGA Best Practices National Data Research Trends
• GPS Enabled Locating Systems
• Natural Gas Safety for Excavators
• Partnering to Protect Against Telecom Damages
• Locator Workshop
• Ask Nebraska811

Two major awards were presented at the 2023 Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit. The Outstanding Excavator & Locator Awards recognize the best damage prevention partners in the state of Nebraska. The 2023 award recipients received a plaque, embroidered jacket, and $150 gift card. Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit committee members, One Call board members, and Nebraska industry representatives selected the winners from the nominations received.

The 2023 award winners were:Nebraska.Excavation.Safety.Summit.2

• Mark Wrede of Black Hills Energy was awarded 2023 Excavator of the Year.
• Pete Suski of the Metropolitan Utilities District was awarded 2023 Locator of the Year.

The 2023 Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit also included a locate rodeo! A team of expert locators volunteered throughout the day to train and coach locators. The 2023 Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit Locate Rodeo winners were as follows:

• 1st Place: Delsin Cary – Black Hills Energy
• 2nd Place: Charles Klaus – MVP NexLevel
• 3rd Place: Coray Bowling – Allo Fiber

The winners of the 2023 Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit Locate Rodeo will move up to compete in the 2023 International Locate Rodeo ( on December 6 & 7, 2023 at Springfield, MO.

Make plans to attend or become a supporter in 2024! Keep an eye out for future Nebraska811 events and watch out for the release of the 2024 Excavation Safety Summit date in February 2024. See more about the annual Excavation Safety Summit at or

Mark Woodward


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