The Importance of Safe Digging: Insights from Missouri 811
It’s a sunny day, and you’ve just decided to kick off a gardening project, maybe installing a new fence or planting a beautiful tree. But before you pick up that shovel and start digging, there's an essential step that should never be ignored: practicing safe digging. This crucial action is championed by an organization known as Missouri 811.
So, why is safe digging so important? The ground beneath our feet is much more than soil and earth. It's a complex network of utilities that are critical to everyday life, including gas, water, electric, sewer, and telecommunications lines. When these utilities are struck during digging, the consequences can be dire, ranging from disrupted services and expensive repairs to serious injuries and even fatalities.
Missouri 811: Making Digging Safer
Missouri 811 serves as a vital communication link between individuals planning to dig and utility owners. Their role is to ensure that any planned excavation doesn't damage the underground utilities. The process is simple but crucial: "Safety is in your hands. Every dig. Every time."
When you make a call to Missouri 811, they notify the utility companies of your intent to dig in the predefined location. The utility companies then send a professional locator to mark the approximate location of their lines on your property. Once all the public utility lines are marked, it is now safe to start your digging project by avoiding the marked areas and exercising extreme caution when digging near these marks.
This service is not just for big companies with large construction projects. Homeowners and professional excavators alike are required to request a locate. Whether you're planting a tree, installing a mailbox, or starting on a new addition, if your project requires digging of any kind, you need to contact Missouri 811 to locate the public utilities under the soil first. Best of all, this service is completely free, removing any barriers to practicing safe digging.
Why Safe Digging Matters
Every six minutes, an underground utility is damaged because someone decided to dig without first contacting 811. This statistic highlights the real risks of digging without the proper precautions.
By contacting Missouri 811 before you dig, you are doing more than just preventing damage. You're helping to ensure that utilities remain reliable for your community. You're avoiding potential fines and repair costs. Most importantly, you're keeping yourself and those around you safe.
Safe digging is a shared responsibility. No project is too small or insignificant to warrant a call. So, next time you're ready to break ground, remember: Click or call before you dig. Your safety, your community, and your peace of mind will thank you.
As we dive into our various projects, let's remember the critical role we play in keeping our communities safe. Safe digging is no minor matter—it is a practice that protects us, our neighborhoods, and the complex, crucial utility networks that power our daily lives. Thanks to services like Missouri 811, practicing safe digging is just a click or a phone call away. It's a small step, but its impact can be significant.