Public Safety Awareness for Excavators  

Did you know that damage to pipelines due to excavation equipment is one of the leading causes of pipeline incidents?

There are millions of miles of hazardous liquid and natural gas pipelines located underground across North America. Those are in addition to the electrical and communication lines and many other underground facilities that network this continent.

Hitting a pipeline can cause damage and failure of the pipe. And pipeline failures can result in injuries and even fatalities.

That's why all excavators, whether they work with a shovel or a four-ton backhoe, must make damage prevention their number one priority. Everyone who excavates or digs must do their part to ensure that underground facilities are located accurately before digging begins. So call before you dig - it's your responsibility, and it's the law.

Four Simple Steps that Could Save Your Life:

  1. Call before you dig.
  2. Wait the required time for facilities to be marked.
  3. Respect the marks.
  4. Dig safely and dig with care.

This is very important. Whether you are a private homeowner installing a mailbox or a professional contractor digging up a city street, you are required by law to notify your local one-call utility notification center 48 hours prior to digging.

Careless digging poses a threat to underground facilities and to people. It is estimated that there are about 400,000 incidents each year in which underground facilities are damaged during excavation, with many of these resulting in injuries and fatalities.

Download our "Call Before You Dig!" flyer

What to do if you are digging and disturb a pipeline:

Even if you happen to cause what seems to be only minor damage to a buried pipeline, notify the pipeline company immediately. A gouge, scrape, dent, or crease to the pipe or coating may cause a future break or leak, so don't cover it up. It is imperative that the pipeline company inspect and repair any damage to the line, for everyone's safety. If you become aware of such an incident or potential incident, please contact the pipeline operator immediately.

2011 safety requirements for excavation adjacent to natural gas pipelines