Dig Safely New York’s philosophy is that education and training on proper digging techniques is just as important as knowing when to place a location request.

Our education efforts are designed to prevent excavation-related damages to our ever-expanding underground infrastructure. Every year damages caused by excavation equipment result in thousands of interruptions to utility services, including natural gas, telephone, cable, water, and sewer. In addition, road closures, evacuations, destroyed buildings, serious injuries, and even fatalities occur.

We raise awareness for excavation safety and underground utility damage prevention through the following methods.

  • Field Representatives
    • Conduct area safety presentations
    • Exhibit at industry trade shows
    • Meet one-on-one with area excavators and facility operators
  • Damage Prevention Councils (DPCs)
    • Host informational breakfasts
    • Sponsor safety training seminars for excavators and facility operators

For more information, or to schedule a free safety presentation, contact your area Field Representative  at (855)-811-REPS. Additionally, check out out Upcoming Events for an up-to-date listing of presentations and meetings in your area.

Training/Education Syllabus 

  • Know when/why to place a location request
    • Location requests should be made at least two (2) full working days, but no more than 10 working days, prior to the start of a project. Working days are defined as weekdays (Monday through Friday), excluding holidays.
    • It is the law in New York State to place a location request before you dig.
    • Placing a location request before you dig is a necessary part in planning your excavation.
  • Call-Center operations
    • Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) will ask you numerous questions related to the planned project in order to create the location request. Click here to view the required information.
    • The CSR will read all the information back to you to ensure it was recorded correctly. Listen carefully and verify for accuracy.
    • CSRs provide you a list of member utility owners/operators that will be notified by the One-Call Center regarding the planned project(s).
    • CSRs provide you with a location request number as proof of the call and for a reference. Keep this information for your records, so you can confirm your request and that you have received a response from all notified member utilities prior to starting your work. You can use this ticket number and the telephone number provided to the CSR to check on our Automated Positive Response (APR) system to see the status of utility responses at any time. Your call to Dig Safely New York is recorded and archived should any questions arise.
  • Wait the required amount of time
    • Utility owners/operators have two (2) full working days under New York State law to respond to location ticket requests.
    • You are not allowed to begin excavation if the utility owners/operators have not responded within the two (2) working days. These utility owners/operators will be automatically sent a late notice by Dig Safely New York when they have not responded within their allotted timeframe.
    • Weekends and holidays are not considered working days. Holidays include:
      • New Year’s Day
      • Martin Luther King Day
      • Presidents Day
      • Memorial Day
      • Independence Day
      • Labor Day
      • Columbus Day
      • Veteran’s Day
      • Thanksgiving Day
      • Christmas Day
  • Respect the markings
    • You are responsible for maintaining the marks set by utility owners/operators at your project site.
  • Dig with care
    • Understand the markings
      • Color Code
        • White – Proposed excavation site
        • Pink – Temporary survey markings
        • Red – Electric power lines, cables, conduit, lighting cables
        • Yellow – Gas, oil, steam, petroleum, gaseous materials
        • Orange – Communications, alarm, signal lines, cables, conduit
        • Blue – Potable water
        • Purple – Reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines, radioactive material
        • Green – Sewer lines, drain lines
      • Tolerance Zone
        • The tolerance zone is defined as two (2) feet on either side of the designated center line of the facility if the diameter is not provided. If the diameter is provided, the tolerance zone is two (2) feet from each outside edge.
        • Before using power tools within the tolerance zone, you must:
          • Verify the location, type, size, direction-of-run, and depth of the facility.
            • Gas and liquid petroleum lines must be verified by hand-dug test holes.
            • The location of other utilities must be verified by hand-dug test holes, unless otherwise agreed upon with the facility operator/owner.
    • Do not assume that buried facilities are at certain depths.
      • Because the depth and placement of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects, and uneven surfaces, making assumptions about where the utility lines are under your property can be extremely risky.
  • Report emergencies
    • If you suspect a leak on your job site, evacuate the site and move to a safe environment. Immediately call 911, the fire department, and the utility owner/operator. Click here to learn more about reporting emergencies