In 2010, there were 53 accidents involving excavation damage to pipelines in the United States. Those accidents led to five deaths and considerable damage.
Unsafe digging is a leading cause of pipeline damage. That’s why the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is reminding Americans that April is National Safe Digging Month.
And, whether you're a professional or a do-it-yourselfer, one of the most important ways to make sure you're digging safely is to call 811...before you dig.
When you dial 811, the nationwide hotline number, utility crews can let you know where pipelines and utilities run in your vicinity. It’s free, and knowing where those lines are protects everyone nearby.
“Failure to call before digging can result in property damage, tragic accidents and even fatalities," said PHSMA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman. "While these types of incidents have decreased over the last ten years, in one out of every three, the people digging had not called 811 first.”