PITTSFIELD, Mass. — April 1, 2021 — Spring is here, and it’s the perfect time to get the yard in order or work on an outdoor project.
Berkshire Gas Company, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), reminds do-it-yourselfers and contractors that the first step before any project that requires excavation or digging is to get underground utilities marked out by contacting Dig Safe.
April is recognized as National Safe Digging Month, and the free Dig Safe service can help prevent accidents that can lead to injuries and costly damages. It’s required by law before any work that involves digging, even small jobs like installing a mailbox or fence posts.
To get started, dial 811 or fill out an e-ticket at Dig Safe at least 72 hours before work begins, excluding weekends and legal holidays. Representatives of area utilities will visit the property and mark out underground utilities using colored paint, flags or stakes.
“Whether you’re putting in a foundation or a fence, installing a swing set or planting a tree, taking this simple first step can help prevent accidents and keep everyone safe,” Berkshire Gas President Sue Kristjansson said.
Incidents involving third-party damage to underground natural gas and electric facilities occur each year, putting lives in danger and interrupting essential utility service. Many of these incidents can be avoided by contacting Dig Safe to have utilities marked out before work begins.
Follow these tips for a safer project:
- Plan to have underground utilities marked as part of all underground construction.
- Mark out the area of construction with white paint, white flags or white stakes.
- Visit Dig Safe online to open an e-ticket to have utilities marked out, or call 811.
- Provide adequate training and supervision on a jobsite to assure that good construction practices are followed.
- Properly maintain all underground utility markings.
- Use hand tools with caution in the area of underground utilities.
- Mechanized excavation is forbidden by law within 18 inches of underground gas lines.
- Provide adequate protection and support for underground facilities.
- Use and properly install suitable backfill material around underground facilities.
- If our underground facilities are damaged or disturbed, report it to Berkshire Gas immediately at 800.292.5012.
- Call 911 if there is an immediate threat to life or safety.
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