April 12 2017 03:00 AM

The spring rush is upon us, and every green industry company is working hard just to keep up with the workload. But with 20 million miles of underground utility lines in the U.S. vulnerable to damage from digging, it’s important to remember that a heavy workload is no reason to skip out on safety measures. A line is damaged accidentally by digging once every six minutes.

The Common Ground Alliance wants to remind landscape contractors doing installation work to give a call to 811 before digging. April is National Safe Digging Month, and it serves as a reminder that there’s always the risk of hitting a utility line when we’re working in the soil, as part of an installation project.

Contractors—as well as homeowners--are asked to call any digging work in to 811, which will then notify the relevant utilities about where you’re working and what you plan to do. The utilities will then send people out to mark the locations of any underground lines. This avoids the outages, repair costs, serious injuries and even deaths that occur from striking lines every year.

Utility lines carry electricity, natural gas, water and sewage, and some are buried just inches below the surface.