Public encouraged to practice safe digging and use 811 service – it’s the law!
GASTONIA, N.C. – Spring is here, and North Carolinians are seeing the usual increase in construction and home improvement projects that involve digging. In recognition of National Safe Digging Month, Dominion Energy reminds the public to follow the law and protect public safety by calling 811 three full business days before any planned excavation work.
When someone calls 811, utility companies dispatch professional locators to mark underground lines with flags or paint at no charge. Utilities have three full working days to mark the area requested.
There are three easy and convenient ways to contact North Carolina 811:
- Dial 811 or call 1-800-632-4949. Both are toll free.
- Visit NC811.org to submit a utility marking request online.
- Download the free North Carolina 811 app for Apple or Android mobile devices.
“Excavation is the leading cause of gas line damage, so calling before you dig is the best way to keep our communities safe,” said Shaun Randall, general manager of gas operations for Dominion Energy North Carolina. “We saw a 20 percent drop in damage last year, which shows that the public is doing their part and the system is working,” he continued. “This year, we plan to make even more progress with new technology and more education.”
To continue progress on damage prevention, this year Dominion Energy will pilot several new technologies, including:
- A new damage-prevention app for employees. This application allows the company to more easily identify and report excavators that may not be authorized to dig. If unauthorized digging activity is found, a frontline employee can intervene and instruct the excavator to call 811.
- Artificial intelligence to predict and prevent damages. This program uses predictive analysis to identify high-risk excavation jobs. This allows the company’s frontline workers to proactively intervene at excavation sites that are the most likely to cause damage.
In addition to new technology, the company has created a new team dedicated to promoting safe digging practices. The team is working hand in hand with professional excavators to educate them about the importance of using the 811 system and following safe digging practices. The team will use the information collected from the new technologies to inform their education efforts and share more best practices with builders.
Visit dominionenergy.com/safety/call-before-you-dig for more information about the call-before-you-dig process and other natural gas safety tips.
About the Dominion Energy
More than 7 million customers in 16 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy and to achieving net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050. Please visit DominionEnergy.com to learn more.
For further information: Persida Montanez, 800-562-9308, Persida.Montanez@dominionenergy.com