The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) has launched a new national 811 "Call Before You Dig" website (www.call811.com) designed to serve as a national resource for professional excavators. The new website will educate industry audiences about the new 811 "Call Before You Dig" telephone number to be rolled out to the public in May.
"Knowing where utility lines are buried before each digging project helps protect those who dig from injury, expense and penalties," said CGA President Bob Kipp. "Our new website will provide the professional digging community with the tools they need to begin educating their employees and customers about the new national 811 number to launch later this year."
When the national number goes active, a call to 811 will get the approximate location of underground utility lines marked for free.
811 is the new Federal Communication Commission's designated national N-11 number created to eliminate confusion of multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers across the country. This quick and efficient service connects callers with local One Call Centers who notify the appropriate local utilities, who then send crews to the requested site to mark the approximate location of underground lines.
In 2004, according to industry data, there were approximately 680,000 underground line strikes resulting in damages, including service outages and injury. Many of these accidents might have easily been avoided by calling ahead to have lines marked before digging. A recent national survey conducted for CGA shows that confusion exists among the public as to the necessity of calling before every dig job. In the survey, only 35 percent of homeowners indicated they or someone in their house had called to have their utility lines marked in the past.
The website includes a fully downloadable set of campaign materials available for free use, and an online "tips and tools" forum to share best practices across the digging industry.