April is National Safe Digging Month.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recognizes April as National Safe Digging Month.
Although excavation damage is the leading cause of serious pipeline incidents, it is easily preventable with one call (or click) to 8-1-1. Established in 2002, 8-1-1 is a national, toll-free, one-call notification center system that has become the most effective way to combat excavation damage. It does this by connecting callers with a local one-call center which dispatches a locator to mark any underground utilities in your yard that could be damaged during digging projects. Practicing safe digging can prevent injury, pipeline damage and even death.
Before any digging or excavation project, please follow these important safety steps:
- Call or click 8-1-1 at least 48-72 hours before any digging project.
- Be sure to wait for desired locations to be marked before digging.
- Once the excavation or digging site has been clearly marked, proceed to dig with caution to avoid injury or exposure to hazardous materials.
In recognition of National Safe Digging Month, PHMSA will continue to raise awareness about the importance of utilizing 8-1-1 through its annual poster and video contest for Elementary, Middle and High School students (applications are currently available). PHMSA stakeholders will also participate in outreach events nationwide promoting the importance of calling 8-1-1. Finally, PHMSA and other safe digging advocates will tweet about pipeline safety and damage prevention using #NSDM. Please be sure to visit www.phmsa.dot.gov or http://www.call811.com for more information about safe digging.