APRIL IS NATIONAL SAFE DIGGING MONTH
Remember to check all the boxes for a safe digging project
CASPER, WY. – April 5, 2021 — April is National Safe Digging Month, and with the arrival of warmer weather, homeowners and construction crews will be anxious to get outside and begin new projects. Black Hills Energy offers the following check list of things to do before digging, in order to get the job off to a safe start.
Call or Click Before You Dig. Whether you’re a homeowner planting a shrub or a contractor using a backhoe, always “Call Before You Dig” at least 2 full business days in advance to have utility lines marked. You can call 811 toll-free, or schedule online at: http://www.onecallofwyoming.com. It’s free, it’s safe and it’s the law.
After you call, utility specialists will respond within two days to mark the approximate location of buried utility lines at your site with color-coded paint or flags – at no charge to you. Yellow, for example, marks gas lines and red marks electric lines.
Mark Your Planned Excavation Site. Spray paint a white line, or place white flags, around your planned excavation site before you call. “White-lining” helps the line locator understand your plans and reduces the chance for project delays if the line locator must return to mark additional areas.
Respect the Marks. Always carefully hand-dig with a shovel near any utility facilities as opposed to using heavy equipment. Use extreme care around all utility lines. Just a nick can create a weak spot that may develop into a gas leak, cause an electrical or internet outage or result in injury.
Don’t Rely on Old Line Locate Marks. Project delays? If you don’t dig within 14 business days of having lines marked, contact Wyoming’s 811 again. At no charge, line locators will gladly return to re-mark the lines as quickly as possible. Underground conditions can change, so never rely on outdated information.
“Public safety, the welfare of excavator work crews, and the safety of our employees are our primary concerns,” said Jesse Henderson, Damage Prevention Coordinator for Black Hills Energy in Wyoming. “Whether your project is big or small, make sure you have all of your boxes checked. Safe digging practices are critical to avoiding an incident that could become a tragedy.”
Failure to comply with “Call Before You Dig” laws can result in civil penalties or the cost of expensive repairs to utilities and private property. More importantly, remember that hitting an underground utility line can cause widespread service outages, injury or death.
For Natural Gas
If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or you smell the distinctive rotten-egg odor associated with natural gas, leave the area and then call 911 or the Black Hills Energy 24-hour emergency phone line at 800-890-5554. Do not operate any machinery or equipment that might cause a spark or create an open flame.
In addition to underground line safety, the public should also be aware of potential shock hazards associated with electrical distribution equipment. It is important to follow safety signs, keep away from electrical transmission and distribution power lines, look up when working near lines, and call 811 before digging.
Visit www.call811.com or http://www.onecallofwyoming.com/ for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.
Visit the Black Hills Energy Facebook page to learn how you can enter the Black Hills Energy Safe Digging Month sweepstakes giveaway beginning April 5, 2021 with the winner being announced on April 9. This year’s prize is an outdoor patio fire table!
Michael Howe (307) 261-3254
Laurie Farkas (307) 256-2301
24-Hour Media Assistance 888-242-3969
About Black Hills Energy
Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) is a customer focused, growth-oriented utility company with a tradition of improving life with energy and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, the company serves 1.3 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. More information is available at: www.blackhillscorp.com and www.blackhillsenergy.com.