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Safety Management Group Executive Leads Development of Manhole Safety Guide As Part of ICC Working Group

Stu Hanebuth, SMG Vice President of Utilities, Served as the Vice Chair of the ICC Working Committee that Developed First-of-Its-Kind Resource

Safety Management Group (SMG), an industry-leading safety, environmental and quality services firm, today announced that Stu Hanebuth, SMG’s Vice President of Utilities and VERO, made a significant contribution to manhole safety for utilities. Hanebuth served as the Vice Chair of the Insulated Conductors Committee (ICC) Working Group for Manhole Events which developed IEEE 2417, Guide for Early Detection, Mitigation, Preventative Measures, and Response to Smoke, Fire, and Explosions in Underground Electrical Structures. This is the first peer-reviewed IEEE guide that outlines how utilities can prevent manhole events and improve the safety of utility workers.

“For more than 65 years, the safety and utility industries have been working to create consensus standards to better protect utility workers in and around manholes. I’m proud of the more than 20 professionals who dedicated their time and their expertise to produce the first comprehensive guide for manhole safety,” said Hanebuth, the current Chair of the ICC Working Group on Manhole Events. “With this much-needed safety information, utilities can more easily and confidently respond to and even prevent manhole events.”

Every year, there are thousands of manhole events in the U.S. that damage electric cables and accessories as well as injure or kill urban utility workers, first responders and even the general public. The effort to create a manhole safety guide began in 1957 and throughout the years, progress has been made but the complexity of the issue made completing a comprehensive guide challenging.

The IEEE P2417-2022 guide visually outlines the evolution of manhole events and integrates the mechanical, chemical and electrical elements of these events making it easy to determine where to interrupt process flow to prevent smoke, fire and explosions in underground electrical structures. It also educates users on the root causes of manhole events, combustion chemistry, preventative measures, causes of manhole events, event detection techniques, explosion modeling, response tactics, risk assessments and methods to retard event escalation.

“The SMG team appreciates Stu and the rest of the ICC Working Group for developing this necessary resource which will improve safety in these often hazardous working environments,” said Randy Gieseking, President of SMG. “Stu’s dedication to the importance of safety within the utility industry is representative of our SMG culture and commitment to safety and to making sure that our industries and customers have the procedures in place to make sure all workers come home safely every night.”

The long-awaited IEEE 2417 Guide was approved unanimously in March 2022 and is available now.

About Safety Management Group

Founded in 1991 with headquarters in Indianapolis, Safety Management Group is an industry-leading safety, environmental and quality services firm working across the U.S. to serve utilities, construction firms, health and pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and other industries. The team of more than 240 safety and environmental professionals is dedicated to setting the industry standard through technology, creativity and innovation. More information on the company’s complete line of services and solutions is available at Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.


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