The Construction Safety Fair and Equipment Expo ’99 featuring the Backhoe Rodeo, will be held Saturday, April 17 at California State University, Fresno.

The “hoe-down,” with equipment “beasts” taking each other on is part of the third annual safety event sponsored by the School of Engineering and Computer Science and the Associated General Contractors of California.

The all-day, family event — from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on campus at the corner of Shaw and Woodrow Avenues (east of Maple Avenue) — is free and open to the public although the rodeo has a $5 fee to compete. Food and drink booths will be available with concession and rodeo proceeds benefiting Fresno State’s Construction Management Program.

The Backhoe Rodeo, a test of skills, is open to anyone over 18 years old. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners of both the men’s and women’s competition. A grand prize will be awarded to the “Best of the Best.”

In addition to the rodeo, live entertainment will headline the expo as well as action-packed safety demonstrations of construction equipment such as backhoes and aerial lifts.

Also on display and demonstration will be personal safety equipment, traffic control devices and jobsite safety equipment. Pacific Gas and Electric will provide active equipment and safety demonstrations.

“A large percent of people in the central valley are involved in some part of the construction industry,” said Dennis Spring, professor of construction management at Fresno State. “This is a chance for everyone to get a look at the industry in action, while construction workers of all types increase their knowledge and awareness of safety.”

Among the safety topics that will be covered are construction crime prevention, safety equipment, hazardous materials handling, major equipment operation, hoists and riggings, fall protection, shoring, trenching and excavation, traffic control, personal protective equipment, roofing and ladders, shop safety.

For more information, call Spring at (559) 278-4452 or Shelley Heck at 252-6262.