Oregon Utility Notification Center / OUNC sponsored this years Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit!
The outreach effort to the 300 attendees was very successful we shared with them the new standards manuals, the new call timeline, and the updates to the OAR’s.
Keynote Speakers Russ and Laurel Youngstrom stopped by the Oregon 811 booth after their presentation. #CallBeforeYouDig
SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission is reminding homeowners and professional contractors of the importance of calling 811 before starting any outdoor digging project. Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without calling 811 first. Striking a line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages.
“August 11 (8/11) is a convenient way to promote safe digging and the use of the free 811 service,” said Lori Koho, Utility Safety and Reliability Administrator for the PUC. “Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to 811 at least two business days before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line.”
When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to the Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC), the 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 underground lines with color-coded flags, spray paint or both.
“Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches below the surface, the risk of striking an underground utility line exists,” said Koho. “811 helps maintain the safety of Oregon residents and the reliability of utility services that we all appreciate.”
The Publicity Committee’s campaign for ‘April is Safe Digging Month” showed around Portland-Metro on 20 Tri-Met busses advertising our message. We would like to thank our sponsors, NW Natural and Pacific Power who demonstrate their partnership with the OUNC.
Reminder to call 811 before digging
SALEM, Ore. – In time for spring gardening and home improvement projects, Governor Kate Brown proclaims
April as “Oregon Dig Safely Month”. This serves as a reminder to all Oregon homeowners and contractors to call
811 before digging to have underground facilities, such as natural gas pipelines, electrical utilities,
telecommunication systems, as well as sewer and water lines marked.
“We join the governor in strongly encouraging individuals and companies to call 811 before digging,” said Lisa
Hardie, Oregon Public Utility Commission Chair. “This is an important step when planting a tree, installing a
fence, or doing a major remodel, that will help avoid injury, disruption of utility service for your community,
penalties, and potential repair costs.”
The Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC), who operates the free 811 one-call center, will notify the affected
local utility companies that serve the area of the planned project. Utility staff will visit the project site to mark theapproximate location of the underground lines, pipes and cables in the planned digging area.
“Call 811 at least two and no more than 10 business days before planning to dig,” said Nate Rivera, OUNC Board
Chair. “Please, air on the side of caution and call 811 even if just planting small plants. Some utility lines can runjust a few inches below the surface.”
Statistics show that buried utility lines in the United States are struck every six minutes. In 2016 an estimated
379,000 line strikes occurred nationwide, 20 percent of which were due to insufficient notice to the 811 service.
To reduce the number of line strikes in Oregon, there are strong local partnerships with the OUNC, Oregon
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) to
enhance the communication link and improve safety efforts.
For more information or to request a representative to locate utility lines for an upcoming digging project, call 811or visit digsafelyoregon.com.