Greetings Brothers and Sisters,
As we move into the fall months, I hope you and your families had an enjoyable and prosperous summer. I would like to thank Business Manager Bill McLaughlin and his team for their hard work in restoring our Body Meetings at Florian Hall. It was great to see everyone again. Hopefully, as vaccination rates climb, we will be able to continue them and hear about the exciting things being done by our great union.
On the topic of safety, I would like to spend some time reviewing the Excavator Manual that is provided by DigSafe. The manual is provided free by DigSafe and is available to order on their website. We also have copies at the training center. It is a convenient reference for anyone involved in excavations.
DigSafe serves as a link between the excavator and the utility companies. They are a call center and do not mark any lines. The utilities or a private contractor who works for the utilities mark their own lines. DigSafe is a free service available to anyone. You may reach them by calling 811 or 888-DIG-SAFE. They are open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
You must call DigSafe 72 hours before you begin any excavation in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. In Massachusetts and Maine, you must call regardless of where the excavation is. In New Hampshire, you must call when working within 100 feet of underground utilities. This includes private property. DO NOT rely on the old mark or faulty information. Mark out the area that you plan to excavate with white paint, flags, or stakes. Include the name or initials of your company. In Massachusetts, if the excavation starts within 30 days the ticket is valid indefinitely.
Respect The Marks!! You are responsible for maintaining the marks placed by member utility companies on your site. Hold a pre-excavation meeting and walk all employees through the site and not the location of all the utility markings. Pay special attention to any change in direction that the underground facilities take. If your excavation causes the disturbance of the markings, establish offset marks in order to maintain a reference point for those facilities. Don’t put spoil piles on top of markings. Avoid driving machinery over stakes and flags. If marks have faded or been compromised, contact DigSafe to request a remark.
Once again, I would like to wish you a safe and prosperous fall season. If you have any questions on any topic involving safety or licensure do not hesitate to contact me or any of our instructors at the Training Center.