Click or call before you dig and keep everyone safe

BC 1 Call reminds homeowners, and commercial contractors to “click or call before you dig” into the ground for any outdoor project, big or small. 

Phot of person holding a yellow hard hat with an excavator in the background.

In 2020, a worker was seriously injured while operating an ATV at a vineyard. The worker was driving down an 11% slope when the ATV lurched ahead unexpectedly. The ATV and its driver fell down two steep slopes. They landed in vines supported by strung wire.

We see it every spring: Homeowners, landscapers, and construction contractors get busy. They’re planting trees, building fences, constructing decks, anchoring playground equipment – you name it!

Before any of these professionals or DIY-ers break ground on a project, they need to know what’s underground. Are there any gas or other utility lines below the ground? If so, where are they?

“When it comes to underground utilities, even the smallest incident can cause serious injury, damage infrastructure, and disrupt services such as gas, heat, internet, and water, ” says Chris Hyland, president and CEO of BC 1 Call.

“Don’t risk disruptions to your drinking water, home internet, air conditioning, and other services by inadvertently striking critical underground infrastructure.”

BC 1 Call is the communications link between members of the public and it’s members, who are public and private sector owners of underground infrastructure. BC 1 Call has members from many sectors, such as oil, gas and energy, telecommunications, First Nations, municipalities, and others.

Nationally, it is estimated that more than a billion dollars’ worth of preventable damage to B.C.’s underground infrastructure occurs each year. According to the Canadian Common Ground Alliance’s most recent DIRT Report — 47% of all reported damage incident here in British Columbia were the result of not contacting BC 1 Call before breaking ground.

How to request information on a dig site

The locate request service is free to the excavating community courtesy of BC 1 Call members, and can be submitted online 24/7 or through BC 1 Call’s toll-free number: 1.800.474.6886 from Monday to Friday during call centre hours.

When you submit a locate request to BC 1 Call, their mapping system will locate the dig site and notify all members with underground infrastructure in the area. That means you can rely on your single locate request for a proposed dig site to be sent to BC 1 Call members with assets in your site. You will then receive an email from BC 1 Call with your ticket number and a list of members that have been notified of your request.

Notified BC 1 Call members will email you directly, within 3 working days (5 for large project requests), with details of the buried facilities in your excavation area and safe digging instructions. You are not cleared to dig until all notified members have contacted you.

For more information, see Click or call before you dig, for a toolbox meeting guide from WorkSafeBC.

Please keep this important message in mind and share it with your contacts. And look out for BC 1 Call’s 2023 Spring Campaign, including public service announcements on TV about the importance of contacting BC 1 Call before breaking ground.

Thank you to everyone for doing their part to protect people, the environment, and underground infrastructure.

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