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Toolbox Talk - Underground Utilities

Toolbox Talk - Underground Utilities

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Accidentally striking an underground utility such as gas, water, cable, phone lines, fiber optics, and electrical can be deadly. At a minimum, it can cost your company thousands of dollars in delays and repair costs. There is no “depth requirement” and removing even one shovel-full can put you at risk.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe when digging or trenching. Before you begin:

  • Call MISS DIG at 8-1-1 three full working days before you dig.

  • Utility markers are an approximation and are not intended to provide an exact location. Hand dig to expose utilities before proceeding with machinery.
  • Identify potential signals that unmarked underground utility lines exist (i.e. valves, covers, etc.).
  • Brace the underground utility to ensure gravity doesn’t cause damage.
  • Plan your tasks before you begin and have an emergency plan in case a utility line is damaged.
  • Contact the utility company directly to report damage, including nicks, dents, gouges, cuts, scrapes, or scratches on the pipeline coating.
  • Dial 9-1-1 immediately and evacuate the area if you damage an underground gas line
Remember: Utility companies will not mark private utility lines that run from the property to appliances such as yard lights, grill, pool and spa heaters, detached garages, workshops or other similar areas. In addition, irrigation/sprinkler systems or low lighting should be exposed before proceeding with machinery.

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Posted on Thursday, November 01, 2012 (Archive on Saturday, December 06, 2014)
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