Whether you are a do-it-yourself homeowner or professional excavator, anyone with projects requiring digging, the American Petroleum Institute (API) is urging a call to 811 by before hitting the dirt to safeguard critical infrastructure and ensure utility service integrity.
“Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811,” API Pipeline Manager David Murk said in a release. “We need the public’s help to prevent accidents resulting from excavation damage to pipelines.”
Public awareness of underground protocols obtained a boost on Aug. 11, the date corresponding to the phone number 811, when API marked National Safe Digging Day.
“This simple practice of calling 811 will help keep you and your neighbors safe,” officials said in the release. “Striking a single utility service line can cause personal injury, property damage and outages that inconvenience communities. In addition, persons responsible for striking utility lines can also face the costs of repairs and fines.”
API’s recommendations include calling 811 at least 48 hours in advance of planned activity to allow plenty of time for locations to be marked; contemplate changing the site location if it interferes with utility lines; and carefully coordinate contractor activity with clear communication including confirmation of placing the 811 call.