A quick call can keep your family safe

Staff Reports
Line locator in demonstration

Local utility representative using a line locator to mark buried lines.

April is safe digging month Williams wants to make sure everyone takes the time to call before you dig.

Homeowners, business owners and excavators are responsible for calling 811 before starting a project that involves digging. After you make the call, line locators will come to your home or business to mark any underground utilities with paint and flags, so that you can avoid those areas when digging. Did you know that when you call 811 the appropriate amount of time before digging, you have a less than 1 percent chance of striking a buried utility line?

When you consider that in the U.S. alone, there are roughly a billion feet of underground utility lines, educational summits such as this one are critical to ensuring safe operating practices.

In support of the Call 811 Before You Dig effort, Williams and the Oregon 811 Utility Notification Center recently hosted the Oregon Utility Safety Summit in Salem, Oregon. The purpose of the free educational event was to bring stakeholders in excavation safety together to support the common goal of safe digging and damage prevention to underground utilities.

The more than 200 attendees — which included locators, excavators, facility operators and emergency responders — had the opportunity to learn from industry experts, hear personal testimonials from individuals who had been personally impacted by unsafe practices, visit exhibitor booths and view a demonstration of a mock line-strike of a natural gas pipeline.

So, remember in order to keep you, your co-workers and family safe, practice safe digging and Call 811 before you dig.