April is National Safe Digging Month. At this point, 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.
We’ve compiled a list of facts you should know:
- 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 call811.com prior to starting any excavation work.
The Know Before You Dig Call Center is reached by dialing 8-1-1.