August 11 is National 811 Day. This is a day where corporations, industry professionals, excavators, homeowners, the public and even children alike are reminded of the importance of why you should always Call Before You Dig.

Much focus is placed on the phrase Call Before You Dig to build awareness about the risks and inherent dangers that exist if you don’t call before you dig. Now here is the facts courtesy of;

  • Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines, which can lead to service disruptions, serious injuries and costly repairs.

  • The ground you walk, drive and play on every day covers an incredible amount of buried utilities. In fact, there are more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in the United States. Call 811 before digging, every time and reduce the risk.

  • Making a call to 811 is the easiest way to make sure you keep yourself, your family and communities safe.

  • A survey conducted in March 2015 revealed that homeowners who plan to dig this year for projects such as landscaping, installing a fence or mailbox, or building a deck, pond or patio, will put themselves and their communities at risk by not calling 811 a few days beforehand to learn the approximate location of underground utilities. Extrapolated to the full population of U.S. homeowners, approximately 38.6 million people will dig this year without first having underground utility lines marked.

Today the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), to bring further attention to the Call Before You Dig initiative, released its 2014 Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) report. The annual DIRT report is an accumulation of facility event occurrences that are gathered by the CGA. The An “Event” is defined by the CGA DIRT User’s Guide as “the occurrence of downtime, damages, and near misses”. Download a copy of the 2014 DIRT Report Here

Data captured from the 2014 DIRT Report;

  • A total of 273,599 events were submitted in 2014 yet it is estimated that the total number of facility damages in the U.S was actually 349,000. . Meaning over 75,000 damages went unreported.
  • There was a total of 23,984,804 incoming notifications, calls into a 811 One Call Center, but using the same metric to calculate the estimated number of damages, it is estimated that the total number U.S. locate requests in 2014 was a staggering 30,400,000.
  • The data shows that “Excavation Practices NOT Sufficient” was the leading root cause of damages at 50% followed by “Notification NOT Made” at 25%.

Data captured from Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Adminstration (PHMSA);

  • To date in 2015 there have been 164 pipeline related incidents causing 5 fatalities, 38 injuries and $200,046,120 in property damages.
  • Since 1995 PHMSA reports that there has been 5,599 pipeline related incidents causing 360 fatalities, 1,365 injuries and well over $7 Billion in property damage.


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