NEW YORK – This month Verizon marks the sixth annual National Safe Digging Month, which serves as a timely reminder to always call 811 before beginning any digging project.
“April Safe Digging Month is a great reminder of the importance of calling 811,” said Diane McCarthy, Verizon’s senior vice president of service delivery and assurance. “This one call for any digging project, no matter how small, can make the difference for our customers by protecting the Verizon network from damage due to careless digging. As a service provider, Verizon also does its part when others dig by accurately marking lines within the designated time frame.”
National Safe Digging Month is formally recognized by Congress, and has traditionally earned the support of nearly every governor across the country.
As part of its safe digging campaign, Verizon distributes hats, gloves and other promotional items with the 811 logo to Verizon field operations personnel who have cable locating, maintenance and emergency repair responsibilities; outside plant engineering personnel who are responsible for construction, protection, location and permanent restoration activities; and excavators, locators, municipal employees and right-of-way providers with whom Verizon works. In addition, the company is outfitting its fleet vehicles with 811 bumper stickers.
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after a call to 811.
“As April marks the traditional start of digging season, we are using this month to strongly encourage individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging,” said Bob Kipp, president of the Common Ground Alliance (CGA). “By calling 811 to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected.”
The CGA is a member-driven association dedicated to ensuring public safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of services by promoting effective damage prevention practices.
When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. Every eight minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
Verizon joins the CGA and its 1,400-plus members across the U.S. to highlight 811, which was established in 2005 by the Federal Communications Commission to prevent the unintentional strikes of underground utility lines while digging.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 98 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 183,400. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.