Sunshine 811 was established by the Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act (Chapter 556 of the Florida Statutes). The sole purpose of Sunshine 811 is to ensure that digging is performed safely while preventing damage to underground facilities. Read this part and part two for a primer on complying with Sunshine 811.
Sunshine 811 Requirements
Any person or company that utilizes an underground facility for services such as cable, electricity, or phone and internet lines are required by law to become a member of the Sunshine 811 (One-Call Center) network. Likewise, any excavator or any other person or entity that participates in digging is required to notify Sunshine 811 at least two days prior to digging so that member operators that have lines in the area can be notified about the scheduled digging to be performed.
The Dangers of Excavation
Excavations can pose risks to workers, the public, and the environment. An excavation operation should be monitored at all times, a competent person should evaluate all possible dangers before trenching work begins, and protective systems should be in place for operations that are four feet or deeper. Excavation damage can include denting, scraping, cutting, or puncturing a pipeline. Catastrophic failures also include immediate failure of the pipeline and damage to pipeline coatings, or dents to the steel pipe that can lead future failure.
Soils beneath building can be affected and cause tipping, leaning, or foundational cracking to buildings. Defective excavation can lead to building collapses. If you feel that you could be held responsible for damages as a result of excavation work, consult with a Florida construction lawyer as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.