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Safe Digging Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Safe digging starts when you call your local One-Call Center, but that’s not where it ends. In fact, it’s only the first step in an ongoing process that requires everyone’s cooperation, responsiveness, and good judgment.

The importance of safe digging cannot be emphasized enough. Every day throughout America, careless digging causes far-reaching consequences, from serious personal injury and environmental damage to costly delays. But by working together as a team, we can keep these unfortunate incidents to a minimum.

Digging safely is a responsibility that each of us must take personally. This section has been specifically designed to help you understand what is necessary to assure safe digging from start to finish. Please read the inDireformation carefully. If you have any questions. at any time, please call your local One-Call Center.

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Call About Safe Digging

When you call about digging, please have the following information available:

  • Municipality – county, city, or township
  • Location – Street address
  • Nearest Intersection of streets and roads
  • Extent and type of work
  • Date and start time the excavation is scheduled to begin
  • Caller’s name and title
  • Contractor/contact person and phone number

Here’s How It Works

For Excavators

  • Always call the One-Call Center prior to digging within the time frame required by your state. The call should only take a few minutes.
    • Don’t know the phone number? Call the National referral number, 1-888-258-0808, to get your local One-Call Center’s phone number.
  • Be ready with all important information: the municipality, street address, extent and type of work, date and start time of excavation, caller’s name, contractor/contact person and phone number.
  • Wait for the site to be marked. Marking could include paint, flags, or stakes.
  • Respect and protect the facility operator’s marks. Note the color of all the markings used and what type facilities they indicate. Colors may vary from state to state.
  • Dig with care! Always hand dig when within two feet – on either side – of any mark lines.
  • If damage, dislocation, or disturbance of an underground utility line occurs, immediately notify the affected facility, utility, or pipeline.
  • If damage creates an emergency, take immediate steps to safeguard health and property.

For Facility Operators

  • You are responsible to respond to the location request within the required time and mark lines with the proper color.
  • Lines must be marked accurately and within the tolerance zone required by your state law.
  • Additional duties may be required by your state laws.

What if I Don’t Call?

By not calling, here’s what could happen:

  • Personal injury, including loss of life
  • Damage to the environment
  • Costly property damage
  • Damage to these utility lines: communication (i.e. telephone, long-distance communications, cable television, 911 emergency fire and police communications), electric, gas, pipelines, sewer, traffic signals, and water lines
  • Costly delays and expensive repairs
  • Legal problems
  • Civil Penalties

Always Call to Dig Safely

Whether You Are an Excavator, Facility Operator, or someone planning to dig, please do your part and make the call!

  • Call the One-Call Center
  • Wait for the site to be marked
  • Mark accurately
  • Respect the markings
  • Dig with Care

Even when all precautions are taken, accidents can still happen. If a line is hit or even scratched, please call the Facility Operator.