Springtime is a reminder to think safety as construction ramps up in many areas, says the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), which actively supports April National Safe Digging Month as a member of the Common Ground Alliance (CGA).
AEM joins with CGA in emphasizing the importance of safe digging practices, including the reminder to call 811 before beginning any digging project — no exceptions.
National Safe Digging Month strives to bring extra awareness to the issue of underground utility line safety and reduce the risk of unnecessary infrastructure damage.
“As April marks the traditional start of digging season, we are using this month to remind individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging,” said William “Bernie” Bernhard, AEM manager, technical and safety services. “By calling 811 to have the underground utility lines in the area marked, homeowners and professionals are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected.”
Once every nine minutes, an underground utility line is damaged nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to industry data collected by CGA. The Alliance also notes there are more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in the United States, which equates to more than 100 yards of buried utilities for every man, woman and child in the U.S.
“Contractors, farmers, landscapers, homeowners and anyone involved in a digging project, no matter how large or small, needs to call 811. It’s a free call and the risk is just not worth it!” says Bernhard.