April’s not just the month before “May Flowers” – it’s also National Safe Digging Month.
Every six minutes, an underground utility line is accidentally damaged, according to the 2013 Common Ground Alliance DIRT (Damage Information Reporting Tool) Report.
811 is a national call line that will redirect you to your local resource on safe digging. [If you have large thumbs… make sure NOT to dial 911!]
When calling 811, just tell the operator the location of the site where you’re planning to dig, what type of work you’re doing, and they will notify local utility companies. Within a few days, they’re send out a rep to mark any underground lines, pipes and cables so you know what lies below and can get the job done safely.
Calls generally must be made 3 buisiness days ahead of putting any shovels in the ground. You can file an emergency ticket if digging must happen within 3 business days (must meet certain criteria).
If you're doing work outside of the state that you're located in, the national referral number is 1-888-258-0808.
The average utility damage claim is approximately $25,000. If a strike does occur, there are steps you can take to your control exposures and contain losses. Best practices for contractors include:
Collecting these facts immediately positions you well for handling any claims or litigation that may follow an incident.
…but you’re on your own for tips marking those occasions!