FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 5, 2023
pdf for download
Contacts: Josh Thomas, OUNC Executive Director
firstname.lastname@example.org, (503) 317-5007
Kandi Young, PUC Public Information Officer
email@example.com, (503) 551-5290
Aaron Corvin, Oregon OSHA Public Information Officer
firstname.lastname@example.org, (971) 718-6973
SAFE DIGGING MONTH REMINDS OREGONIANS TO CONTACT 811 BEFORE DIGGING
SALEM, Ore. – In recognition of National Safe Digging Month, the Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC), Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA), and Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) remind Oregonians to contact 811 before starting projects that require digging.
Whether a professional contractor or do-it-yourselfer, all play an important role in preventing damage to underground utilities. No matter how big or small a project, contact Oregon 811 to avoid life-threatening injuries and prevent costly damage to necessary utility services. There are three easy steps to safe digging in Oregon:
- Submit a locate request at least two business days before starting a digging project at Oregon811.com or by calling 811.
- Wait for utilities to mark the underground lines.
- Dig carefully, paying close attention to the marks.
Once a locate request is made, the OUNC, which operates the free 811 one-call center, notifies the utility companies that serve the area of the planned project. Utility personnel then visit the project site to mark the approximate location of the underground lines, pipes, and cables in the planned digging area at no cost to the homeowner or employer.
Meanwhile, employers must follow Oregon OSHA requirements to protect workers against the potential hazards of underground utilities. Those requirements include:
- Notifying OUNC of the proposed area of excavations at least two working days before starting an excavation.
- Estimating the location of utilities before opening or extending an excavation.
- Determining by safe and acceptable means, the exact location of the estimated utility installations when excavation activities approach them.
- While excavations are open, underground installations must be protected, supported, or removed as necessary to safeguard employees.
Ryan Sandhu served as an OUNC Board Member from February 2014 until June 2022, representing Special Districts. He was the Chair for the Executive Director’s Selection Committee, an active member with Publicity, Enforcement, Budget & Audit, and the Board of Directors Secretary for four years.
Ryan’s constant professionalism and skillful communication has been cherished as he helped guide many members while they made tough decisions over the years. His contributions not only increased the strength of the board, but the overall damage prevention effort in Oregon as well. Thank you, Ryan.
Contact: Josh Thomas, Executive Director, Oregon Utility Notification Center
503-317-5007 | email@example.com
This Thursday, August 11 (8/11), is National 811 Day. Also known as National Safe Digging Day, the observance exists to raise awareness about contacting 811 before beginning a digging or excavation project. The Oregon Utility Notification Center, which oversees the statewide call or click before you dig program, is reminding Oregonians that using the free service can save money and lives.
“None of us have x-ray vision to see underground utilities before breaking ground, and we know there are a lot of construction and home improvement projects happening this time of year,” said Josh Thomas, Executive Director of the Oregon Utility Notification Center. “National Safe Digging Day is a perfect time to remind everyone to contact 811 first so they don’t have to call 911.” Read more