April showers bring May flowers – and a reminder that April is National Safe Digging Month. As DIYers, farmers and construction professionals start spring jobs, it’s time to remember to plan ahead and call your friendly underground facilities locator before you dig, pound posts or chisel plow near underground infrastructure.

Remember, “Safe digging is everyone’s responsibility.”

UDig NY (UDigNY.org) is the site where all safe digging in the Empire State starts. “As the link between you and the underground utility operators, UDig NY utilizes a contact center and industry-leading software – Exactix – to receive and transmit notifications of intent to dig in the form of underground utility location requests,” they report.

UDig NY provides customers with the tools to place and manage your location requests 24/7/365. UDig NY serves upstate New York: the geographic region of New York State north of the New York City metropolitan area. (New York City and Long Island are covered by New York 811.)

Enjoy April’s sun – and call 811

April is National Dig Safely Month. Do your research before breaking ground. Photo by Troy Bishopp

The safety organization serves 55 counties, over 1,300 member utilities and processes over 612,000 location requests a year.

Contacting UDig NY or calling 811 before excavation projects is free and easy and protects you, your business and the community – and it’s the law (NYS Code Rule 753). You can’t afford not to do it.

A single dig-in can result in significant fines, repair costs, impact neighbors and cause downtime that come out of a business or a homeowner’s bottom line. It also has the potential to fatally injure workers and homeowners.

“You can’t rely on previous experience on a job site as a replacement for using the 811 process. Utilities can be buried in remote locations, at any depth, and can shift over time. Excavators should always contact 811 three days prior to any digging – it’s the only way to know for sure that there are no underground utilities in conflict with the work site,” say UDig NY officials.

You can find more damage prevention resources online at UDigNY.org and 811beforeyoudig.com.

by Troy Bishopp