Excavation damage is the predominant cause of serious natural gas transmission pipeline incidents that result in fatalities and injuries. All interstate pipeline companies promote damage prevention laws and state “Call Before You Dig” programs. The One-Call system requires anyone planning to dig to contact the local One-Call office before any excavation to locate underground pipes and utilities, excavate carefully around the pipe, and report any damage that may be caused to the pipeline or its coating. With the strong support of INGAA members, this law led to the creation of the national “811 Call Before You Dig” damage prevention program, a critically important public awareness initiative that provides a single, nationwide phone number to obtain detailed information about buried cables and pipelines in each state.
Use the One-Call System before you do any type of excavation
- Call 811 Before You Dig so underground pipes and utilities are properly identified and marked -- Section 5 provides more information on One-Call
- Excavate carefully around any pipeline facilities
- Inform the One-Call System and pipeline operator of possible unmarked excavation or pipeline damage that may have been caused by digging.
- Providing pipeline awareness programs - routinely evaluated for effectiveness - that inform people who live and work near pipelines, excavators, emergency responders and public officials on:
- The purpose, need and reliability of underground pipelines;
- Pipeline safety and how to recognize, respond to and report abnormal conditions or leaks;
- Potential hazards and prevention measures taken;
- Emergency telephone number and notification;
- Information about damage prevention, including 811 Call Before You Dig programs;
- Pipeline markers;
- Right of way encroachments inhibiting an operator’s ability to respond to potential emergencies, prevent third party damage, provide surveillance and perform routine maintenance;
- An overview of Integrity Management Plan;
- Information on Emergency Response Plans; and
- NPMS, the National Pipeline Mapping System, for locations of facilities and names of operators.
- Promoting "811 Call Before You Dig" at every opportunity to remind excavators and the public that they should contact the local One-Call center before beginning any excavation.
Watch Common Ground Alliances' Videos on "5 Steps to Safe Digging"
Red's 5 Steps to Safer Digging from Nonfiction NXNW on Vimeo.
5 Steps to Safer Digging Toolbox from Nonfiction NXNW on Vimeo.