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.

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