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Contractors Remind Public That Underground Damage Prevention is Everybody’s Responsibility on 8/11 – 811 Awareness Day

August 11, 2011
Today, on 8/11, AGC joins the rest of the underground damage prevention community to remind everyone that is involved in an excavation project to follow the key steps to safe digging and damage prevention - dialing 811. Homeowner, landscapers, and other casual excavators must join professional excavation contractors in dialing 811 before any digging project. 811 is the national one-call number that will connect you with your area’s one-call center. They will take information about your dig site and contact the utilities that may have facilities in the area and have them come and locate those facilities for you. Once a call is made, you must wait the required amount of time before beginning the excavation, typically two or three business days, depending on state law. During that time, the utilities will send out locators to the site, who will locate and mark buried facilities they have with paint on the ground, flags, or both. Timely and accurate locates are critical to the damage prevention process. When the marks have been placed and you have waited the required amount of time, begin your excavation project, being mindful of the marks and excavation best practices. Be mindful of the tolerance zone, which is the space in which a buried facility is located and special care is taken. The tolerance zone is usually the width of the facility plus a distance from the outer-most edges of the facility, usually 18 to 24 inches depending on state law. Avoid mechanized equipment when digging in the tolerance zone, or use non-invasive excavation methods, such as vacuum excavation. For more Best Practices, read the Common Ground Alliance’s Best Practices. AGC and its stakeholder partners within the Common Ground Alliance have been on the forefront of promoting the Call 811 campaign and its message of excavation safety and underground damage prevention. AGC will continue to set the bar high for all involved in this effort. For more information about 811 or your one-call center, click here. For more information, contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org.
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