Be proactive by developing a “culture of safety” in your organization:
- Recognize that there are inherent dangers in disturbing the ground and working around overhead utilities.
- Develop and implement safe work procedures.
- Ensure workers are adequately trained in-ground disturbance procedures, best practices, and the damage prevention process.
- Cooperate with other stakeholders in the damage prevention process.
- Support and participate in safety organizations: Join Utility Safety Partners and share your knowledge on a committee.
- Pre-mark your dig site with white paint.
- ClickBeforeYouDig at least 3 – 5 days before you plan to dig. Plan further ahead where possible during busy season (May – September).
- Identify customer-owned or privately-buried facilities in your dig area.
- Identify and contact utility owners that are not registered with the notification service.
- Wait until all utilities have been located and marked, and know what those marks mean before you dig.
- Look up! Identify overhead energy and utility assets in your work area and have a plan to work safely around them.
- Ensure operators of excavation equipment have copies of, and understand, the locate documentation.
- Support and protect exposed utilities to the satisfaction of the utility owner.
- Report any damage (caused or found).
- Respect the locate marks. Hand expose buried utilities in conflict with a ground disturbance before using mechanical excavation equipment within the hand expose zone.
- Backfill exposed utilities with care.
Find additional resources and information in our Learning Centre.
Know Your Rights
Knowing your rights is another important way of staying safe while working near buried or overhead utilities. As a worker, you have three fundamental rights under Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act:
The Right to Know
You have the right to know about workplace hazards and to have access to health and safety information on your worksite.
The Right to Participate
You have the right to be involved in health and safety discussions. You also have the right to participate in decision-making processes concerning matters that affect your health and safety at work.
The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work
You have the right to refuse work if you have reasonable grounds to believe that it puts you or your crew in harm’s way. While it’s up to you to promptly report your refusal and the reasons for it to your employer or supervisor, your employer is responsible for addressing the danger.
For more information visit the OHS services information hub.