Call 811 BEFORE you dig!

Happy NDSM! 

What's NDSM you say? Well, it's none other than National Safe Digging Month! This is put on every April by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA). Calling 811 before you dig is essential to making sure that you, your employees, and your equipment stay safe on the site. 

Did you know? 

Backhoes contribute more damages than any other digging equipment! In 2020 alone, more than 58,000 damages to underground utilities occured during backhoe excavation. That's almost 159 damages a day! Even if you don't think your job is that deep, like planting some flowers or putting in a deck, call 811. Utilities can be just inches under the surface. Erosion, settling ground and other factors can change the depth and location of utlities over time. 

How can you help?

Glad you asked! Here are some things that can be done to help prevent damages to ultilities. 

  1. Provide accurate and detailed information when starting a ticket.
  2. Be specific about the digsite in question, providing location and dimensions are helpful.
  3. Only request marks where the proposed excavation is taking place.
  4. You can also provide GPS coordiantes, whitelining, and identifying any relevant landmarks.
  5. Providing good contact information, preferrably someone onsite or familiar with the digsite and schedule.
  6. Give accurate details of the work being performed, the more detail the better.
  7. Give ample notice and make sure you eliminate any unnecessary requests.
  8. Make sure active tickets are on schedule of the actual work being performed.

Benefits of calling 811 

Other than keeping yourself, your employees, and equipment safe, you are also helping to not damage utilities in an area that could service thousands. According to a February 2023 survey of American homeowners, 82% said that a contractor's usage of the 811 system was important to them. Half of the respondents said that they experienced a utility outage of 3+ hours last year. 

Know what's below! Call 811. More information can be found here, on CGA's website.

Starting your digging season soon? Is your machine ready to go? Give us a call if it isn't!