April is National Safe Digging Month, and at Blackburn Manufacturing, we couldn’t be more excited to support this fantastic initiative. The month-long event was established by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting safety and preventing damages to underground utilities in North America. Launched in 2008, National Safe Digging Month aims to raise awareness about the importance of calling 811 before you dig.
The idea behind National Safe Digging Month is simple: encourage homeowners, DIYers, and professional excavators to always call 811 before beginning any digging project, big or small. This crucial step helps prevent injuries, property damage, and service disruptions that can result from accidentally hitting underground utility lines.
The Importance of Calling 811 Before Digging
You may be wondering why calling 811 is so important. When you call 811, you’ll be connected to your local one-call center, which will coordinate with utility companies in your area to identify and mark the locations of underground utility lines on your property. This is a free service that can save you time, money, and potentially your life.
Accidentally hitting a utility line while digging can have severe consequences. Not only can it disrupt essential services like electricity, gas, water, or telecommunications for you and your neighbors, but it can also result in costly repair bills and even life-threatening injuries. By calling 811 before you dig, you can ensure that your project goes smoothly and safely, without surprises.
Best Practices for Safe Digging on DIY Landscaping Projects
Before you embark on your next DIY landscaping project, take a moment to familiarize yourself with these best practices to keep yourself and your property safe:
- Call 811 before you dig: Regardless of the size of your project, always make this essential call to have utility lines marked on your property.
- Plan ahead: Allow enough time for the one-call center to process your request and for utility companies to mark their lines, usually within a few days.
- Respect the marks: Once the utility lines have been marked, avoid digging within the “tolerance zone,” which is generally 18-24 inches on either side of the marked lines.
- Dig carefully: Even if you’re outside the tolerance zone, dig with caution. Hand dig or use non-mechanical tools when working near marked utility lines to avoid accidental damage.
- Report any damage: If you accidentally hit a utility line or notice any damage, immediately contact the affected utility company to report the issue and ensure a safe resolution.
By following these guidelines, you can confidently tackle your DIY landscaping projects while ensuring the safety of yourself, your neighbors, and your property. So, let’s all join together in celebrating National Safe Digging Month by committing to call 811 before we dig.
And don’t forget to visit our store for all your marking product needs! We have marking flags, paint, flagging tape and more to help you with your landscaping projects.
Happy digging, and stay safe out there!