April - Safe Digging Month
SAFE DIGGING MONTH RATIONALE
Alberta has a very comprehensive and complex underground 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 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.
All ground disturbers, including contractors, homeowners and land owners, can save time and money and keep themselves and our province safe and connected by following ground disturbance and buried facility damage prevention Best Practices. These include making that simple call to Alberta One-Call in advance of any ground disturbance project, waiting for the buried facility locates to be done, respecting the locate marks, exposing any conflicting buried facilities before using mechanical excavation equipment and digging with care.
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.
The organizations endorsing this initiative strongly advocate:
- the need to 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 proclaims April as SAFE DIGGING MONTH and encourages all ground disturbers to always Call Before You Dig.