PHMSA Recognizes April as National Safe Digging Month
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recognizes April as National Safe Digging Month to remind everyone to call 811 a few days before any home or commercial digging project. Resources are also available by state level at the 811 center website.
PHMSA has partnered with states and other pipeline safety stakeholders to increase awareness of safe-digging practices and calling 811 since it was designated as the national one-call number for anyone planning a digging project anywhere in America in 2005. PHMSA will award nearly $2.8 million through its State Damage Prevention grant and “One Call” grant programs in 2022 to help develop and support damage prevention efforts at the state level.
“Whether you’re landscaping your yard, building a deck, or installing a mailbox at your home, it’s absolutely essential to call 811 before any excavation project,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Just remembering to take that step could save your life—and help keep your neighbors, your community, and our environment safe.”
Calling 811 connects you to your local underground utility operators, who will mark the approximate location of buried natural gas, electric, telecommunications, water, and sewer lines that may be in the vicinity of where you plan to dig.
“A majority of pipelines and other utilities in the United States run underground,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “Far too often, we see the tragic results to people and property when people fail to call 811.”
A survey conducted by Common Ground Alliance revealed that 58% of American homeowners personally plan to complete a home improvement project involving digging, such as gardening, building a fence or deck, installing a mailbox, and more in the next 12 months. However, 49% of them, or nearly 34.9 million Americans, will put themselves and their communities at risk by digging without contacting 811 beforehand to learn the approximate location of underground utilities.