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April is National Safe Digging Month-Call Before You Dig!

April is National Safe Digging Month and a reminder to call 811 before you dig.

Every year in April, National Safe Digging Month, is an opportunity to spread safety awareness to homeowners, contractors, and any professional excavator. 811 “Call Before You Dig” was created to provide you with a nationwide, easily accessible resource when you are digging. Every dig requires a call.

811 is the national “call-before-you-dig” phone number,

and it is a free and easy service required by law.

Hitting a buried line while digging can disrupt utility service, cost money to repair, or cause serious injury or death. Most contractors know that they need to find out what’s underground before beginning to dig, but there may be some finer points of safe digging that you’re not aware of.

April Is National Safe Digging Month – Here’s a list of facts you should know before you dig:

  • Call 3-10 days before you dig to give the utility owners enough time to get out there and mark their lines.
  • Be sure to provide detailed location information and/or mark the proposed excavation area with white paint or flags.
  • After calling, wait at least 3 business days before beginning to dig.
  • Maintain a minimum clearance of 18-24 inches from a marked underground utility and the cutting edge or point of any power-operated earth moving equipment. As you get closer to the marked utility, use hand digging or vacuum excavation to properly locate the utility line(s).
  • If the proposed excavation site changes after the lines have been marked, you must call to have them re-marked.
  • If excavation equipment is removed from a work site for more than two (2) business days, you must notify the one call center again.
  • Always maintain the marks. Marks that have been removed, moved or otherwise tampered with are not accurate.
  • If there is ever a question, call the center and ask. It’s always better to be safe, than sorry.
  • Train workers on these and other excavation safety tips.

Know before you dig – always prior to starting any excavation work.

The Know Before You Dig Call Center is reached by dialing 8-1-1.

National Safe Digging Month is also Supported by The Common Ground Alliance

The Common Ground Alliance is dedicated to preventing damage to underground utility infrastructure and protecting those who live and work near these important assets through the shared responsibility of our stakeholders. For additional supporting materials to share with your industry, visit the toolkit on the Common Ground Alliance website.

Here are additional resources from The Common Ground Alliance


5 Steps to Safer Digging Toolbox from Nonfiction NXNW on Vimeo.