The 411 on 811

Jun 22, 2022 11:26:19 AM | The 411 on 811

Exactly what is MOCS and why should you call 811 before you dig? The answers to these questions and more information about Missouri One Call Systems, are detailed in this blog.

The Missouri Underground Facility Safety and Damage Prevention statute (RSMo Chapter 319) provides a notification center to be used by participating utilities to receive locate requests. Missouri One Call System, Inc. (MOCS), operating as a non-profit Missouri corporation, is such a notification center providing a single point of contact for notification to its members through a statewide toll-free telephone number operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. MOCS was established in 1986 and is responsible for providing statewide services to utilities and excavators to comply with the law. This law applies to any person excavating in the state of Missouri.

MOCS was established as a means to protect underground facilities and assist excavators and utilities in complying with Missouri’s statute and OSHA Rules 1926.651. By using the service that MOCS provides, the general public’s safety and the environment also are protected. Listed below are some tips on how to dig safely and comply with the law.

  • Before digging-
    811 is the nationally dedicated phone number, from the Federal Communications Commission, for all states’ individual safe digging organizations. The number is kept the same across states because it is simple to remember and to prevent confusion. In Missouri, locators have three working days to survey and mark for utilities.
  • Job Site Briefing and Pre-Excavation Checks-
    Each job site is unique and requires meticulous attention to the potential hazards both below and above the surface. To help excavators prepare a job site for excavation, MOCS recommends utilizing a Pre-Excavation Checklist to ensure all precautions have been taken. Feel free to contact MOCS to request a Jobsite Pre-Excavation Damage Prevention Checklist.
  • Review the Marks-
    Verify the accuracy and completeness of locates. Check for previous marks. Use appropriate and up-to-date maps, work orders and prints prior to the start of construction.
  • Begin Work-
    When beginning excavation, have a spotter present during all excavation using mechanical equipment of any kind. Hand dig within the tolerance zone. Always stop excavation immediately and seek appropriate help if anything unexpected is encountered.
  • Protect the Lines-
    For all open excavations, always protect exposed facilities with plywood, split duct, or any other appropriate physical barrier that will provide the needed protection.

Missouri One Call System exists to make safe digging easier for everyone by serving as the central point of contact for all digging projects within Missouri. Once MOCS is notified, they have the responsibility of notifying all public utility companies in the area so they can mark their own facilities within 3 working days.
You can submit a locate request online via or by phone by calling 1-800-DIG-RITE or 811.
Missouri 811

Written By: Missouri 811