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April is Dig Safe Month!

ClickBeforeYouDig_383C&KHidden from public view are complex networks of buried cables, wires, pipelines, water mains and sewer lines. This infrastructure delivers heat, electricity, water, phones and Internet access to your homes and offices, making modern life possible. Although these networks are more extensive in cities and towns, buried infrastructure, such as transmission pipelines, also traverses great distances across remote regions of the country.

Every year, thousands of buried facilities are accidently damaged by digging activities. Services are interrupted in nearly every case and sometimes incidents lead to significant environmental contamination, serious injury and sometimes even death. In addition to the threat to health, worker and public safety, these incidents are a social and economic burden. They strain emergency response resources and can cause disruptive evacuations, property damage, road and construction project delays and traffic congestion. Utility damages can result in costly repair, mitigation and remediation and increased insurance expenses.

Every year, the estimated societal cost of damaging underground utilities in Canada exceeds $1 billion.

These incidents represent an unnecessary risk to the public, a waste of economic resources and a strain on the taxpayer. Accidents are avoidable if commercial and private digging projects adopt safe digging practices and use the free services provided by www.ClickBeforeYouDig.com, so that buried infrastructure can be located prior to excavation.

April is designated as Dig Safe Month across Canada; Dig Safe Month coincides with the unofficial start of the spring digging season and our campaign serves as a reminder to homeowners and contractors that they need to ‘click’ or ‘call’ before they dig.

Dig With C.A.R.E.

April 1st marks the beginning of Dig Safe Month across Canada. Common Ground Alliances across the country take the opportunity each April to promote the importance of digging with C.A.R.E.Click before you dig. Allow time for locates. Respect the locates. Excavate with care.

ABCGA Dig Safe Conference (April 4, 2017)

One way that the Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA) promotes safe digging is through their annual Dig Safe Conference held early in April. This year the Dig Safe Conference is being held on April 4 in Red Deer. You can find out more about how to get involved in this event here.

Click, Tap or Call Before You Dig

Failure to Click, Tap or Call Before You Dig to have buried facilities identified and their locations marked prior to disturbing the ground is the most frequent cause of buried facility damages. The consequences of damage to buried facilities can include service disruptions, environmental contamination, property damage, personal injury and death.

The stakeholders in the buried facility damage prevention process – the digging community, buried facility owners and operators, buried facility locators, regulatory agencies, training providers and the one-call centre – all agree that the prevention of damage to buried facilities is a shared responsibility.

Dig Safe Across Canada

The organizations endorsing this initiative strongly advocate:

  • the need to Click, Tap or Call Before You Dig;
  • membership in Alberta One-Call by all buried facility owners and operators;
  • formal ground disturbance training for commercial ground disturbers; and
  • use of Alberta One-Call to request buried facility locates.

As April is the traditional start-up of the annual digging season, the Alberta Common Ground Alliance, in partnership with Dig Safe Canada, proclaims April as DIG SAFE MONTH and encourages all ground disturbers to always Click, Tap or Call Before You Dig.

Alberta has a very comprehensive and complex infrastructure that provides essential goods and services to all Albertans. Each year there are numerous instances where the integrity of this infrastructure is jeopardized by improperly conducted ground disturbances. Failure to Click, Tap or Call Before You Dig to have buried facilities identified and their locations marked prior to disturbing the ground is the most frequent cause of buried facility damages.

The consequences of damage to buried facilities can include service disruptions, environmental contamination, property damage, personal injury and death.

Visit www.digsafecanada.ca for more information and follow @DigSafeCanada on Twitter and DigSafeCanada on Facebook.