Safety is our number one goal at The Underground Detective and as construction and home improvement season begins to hit its peak, we’d like to discuss the dangers of not following the proper procedures when it comes to underground utilities. Read on – this article could save your life and save you thousands of dollars!
What Happens When an Underground Utility IS Struck?
Thousands of people every year go about their utility projects the wrong way. Some are lucky and don’t have any issues, but many face severe injury, expensive costs, and inconveniences. Here are a couple of articles that touch on this:
Gary Norland, a former paper mill worker from Washington State, was electrocuted by 12,500 bolts of electricity because he was trying to rush a job and wasn’t completely focused on his work.
Residents of North Ridgeville, Ohio were evacuated from their homes when an improperly marked gas line was struck during a project.
How to Prevent an Accident
The number one precaution you can take to prevent an accident is to call 811 before you dig. When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected with a team of experts that notify the appropriate utility companies of the requester’s intent to dig. A team of professional locators are then sent to the digging site to mark the locations of underground utilities using color coded paint and flags.
Fast Fact: Every 6 minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
Even striking a single line while you dig can cause serious injury, fines, high repair costs, and outages. So, even if you’re digging only a few inches underground, we highly recommend you have your utilities marked to avoid the risk of striking an underground utility. Smart digging means calling 811 before you begin your project, whether you are hiring a professional to do the work or doing it yourself!
Common Projects That Require a Call to 811
- Mailbox installation
- Building a deck
- Planting a tree
- Putting in hedges
- Fence installation
- Digging a pond
- Pouring concrete