April is “Safe Digging Month.”
What this means is that New York State is participating in the nationwide effort to recognize remind excavators and contractors that state law requires them to call one of the state’s toll-free One-Call centers before starting any excavation or digging project. In recognition of this, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proclaimed April 2019 as “Safe Digging Month” in New York.
“April marks the traditional start of digging season, we are using this time to urge everyone who is going to be excavating to do their part in protecting crucial underground infrastructure by simply dialing 811 before digging,” said Public Service Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. “Damage to underground utility facilities during excavation can result in loss of utility service, personal injury and property damage.”
New York 811 is the one-call notification system serving New York City and Long Island, and Dig Safely New York is the other, serving the remainder of the state. When calling from inside the areas served, either can be reached by simply dialing 811.
Along with participating in the nationwide Safe Digging Month program, the commission’s staff works diligently to enforce its pipeline safety regulations, which are among the most stringent in the nation.
New York leads in its use of financial incentives and penalties related to pipeline safety. Excavators who damage underground facilities due to the failure to follow the regulations are not only subject to civil penalties, but also are liable for repair costs.
For more information about Dig Safely New York, go to www.digsafelynewyork.com or call 315-437-7394. For more information about New York 811, visit the www.newyork-811.com web site or call 1-800-272-4480.