Excavation damage and prevention is a serious topic for anyone performing trenching and excavation work. It is imperative that you understand the legal requirements and ramifications for noncompliance. Familiarize yourself with the hazards of performing excavation work as discussed in part one and read on to learn about your responsibilities as a contractor.
Know Your Responsibilities
Once you contact Sunshine 811, they will send a locate ticket to any member operator in the digging area which allows the operator to respond and mark the status of the area in question. Be specific when requesting locate tickets, follow low impact marking guidelines, use appropriate mark identifiers, and check the marking status by contacting the Positive Response System before you start digging. Once members have responded and provided clearance, you may begin work but be sure to keep the locate marks visible while digging and using caution when digging near toleration zones and gas lines.
If in the process of digging you damage an underground facility, stop digging immediately and contact 911 (if dealing with liquids or gases) and contact the owner of the underground facility. It may also be helpful to consult with a Florida construction attorney for more clarification on your rights and responsibilities following an occurrence of a damaged underground facility. If locate ticket information is incorrect, contact 811 for corrections. Detailed information about your responsibilities can be found online.
How to Comply
Due to the risks associated with trenching and excavation, complying with local, state, and federal regulations while performing any type of construction work is a must. Be sure you are in compliance by calling before you dig, submitting legitimate tickets only, digging within 30 days of calling 811 and only when the appropriate markers have been put in place. You must also ensure that you dig within the ticket scope, follow low-impact marking practices, and provide the date and time of excavation to the utility after receiving positive response code 2C. If you have to renew your ticket, ensure you complete the work. Keep track of your locate because it is proof of your compliance.
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.