It is critical to understand where electricity is located on a job site to avoid exposure to electrocution.
In the Ground
- Before any digging, even with a shovel, utility locates are required. Some electrical lines are barely beneath the surface.
- Locates include sewer, telephone, fuel, electric, and water lines.
- Outline/mark your planned dig site in white.
- Two business days before you dig, CALL 811. Remember, the day you call does not count.
- Do not dig until all known utilities are marked.
- Maintain all marks.
- Determine the precise location of the marked utilities by hand digging.
- Dig safely using proven excavating methods.
- Use handheld digging tools within 24 inches of underground lines outside the edge.
- Emergency excavation is not exempt from calling for locate.
- Locate marks that expire 45 days from the date the excavator provides notice.
- Use potholing, vacuum excavation, or hand tools when digging close to lines.
Best Practices for Maintaining Locate Marks
- Preserve or protect as many of the original marks as possible.
- Use offset staking in areas where excavation or weather will continuously destroy original locate marks.
- The offset staking must be uniformly aligned and must be accurately indicated at the location of the original locate markings.
- Digital scaled photo, or other permanent scaled imaging or drawings, may be used in areas where excavation or weather will destroy original locate marks.
- Use white paint to maintain the original markings.
- Bookend the original locate marks with solid white squares or brackets.