Dear YouDig?

Dear YouDig?

Me and three of my friends like to check out a nearby construction site when no one else is around. The equipment is soooo cool. Yesterday, just goofing around, I jumped on big yellow bulldozer. I was tinkering with the controls when, low and behold, the thing started! Then, when I messed with a pedal, it suddenly jumped forward and started to move! I couldn’t stop it so I panicked and jumped off. My friends were horse laughing as I fell to the ground. At first it was just hilarious to watch it rumbling unmanned across the very large site. Problem is, the dozer kept going off in the distance … and going… and going! It tore through a fence. It traversed a creek. It rumbled through some brush and into the neighboring property. Unstoppable, it then cut a large swath through their cornfield and continued until it took out the corner of their beautiful red barn where at last it somehow got hung up. We were literally in shock, looked at each other and ran away.  I came clean to my parents and the police. No one was hurt but am I in trouble?

-A Little Mischief

Dear ALM,

Ohhhh yes. You better believe you’re in trouble! What were you thinking, man? I am glad you came clean. You are so lucky you didn’t kill anyone. For now though, we can leave the parenting to … well … your parents.  To be sure, you and your parents will probably have a price to pay for the damages to the fence, the cornfield and the barn and its contents.  You may not be the only ones.

The construction company should have had a site-specific safety plan in place. There should be personnel responsible for all aspects of securing the site to protect persons and property that could be affected. This should include cameras, lighting and even on site security personnel.  At any given time a construction site can have millions of dollars in property value at risk to say nothing of the personal liability for the unsuspecting.  Here, even if they had a plan, they didn’t follow it, as any good plan would have left the dozer inoperable to keep it safe from the predictable appearance of idiot 16 year olds.  YouDig?