Click or call before digging this spring
(Vancouver, BC – April 12, 2023) – BC 1 Call is urging all homeowners, contractors and landscapers to click or call before you dig this spring to avoid potential damage and injury. April is Safe Digging Month in B.C. and coincides with spring, the season when we all enjoy getting outside and tackling those projects we put off in the fall and winter. However, if you do any hand or mechanical work that disturbs the ground in any way, you could potentially damage important underground infrastructure – and be risking personal injury and damage costs for yourself, too.
As the link between the excavating community (including both professionals and homeowners) and our members (public and private sector owners of underground infrastructure across the province), BC 1 Call’s mandate is to take requests for information on buried facilities at a proposed dig site, and relay the request to all of its members who have infrastructure at risk. Notified BC 1 Call members then provide the critical information and instructions needed, to the homeowner, contractor or landscaper, to avoid hitting underground lines.
Underground infrastructure serving our communities and businesses includes pipes carrying drinking water, internet, heat, air conditioning, telecommunication and other critical services. Contacting BC 1 Call is a year-round best practice that prevents avoidable damages to these services. The potential consequences of not contacting BC 1 Call are serious – personal injury, service disruption, environmental damage and project delays.
Preventing avoidable damage is a shared responsibility between those digging, BC 1 Call, and the owners of critical underground infrastructure. The spring campaign is running from March to May and features new TV, digital and radio ads to complement traditional social media messaging.
“To raise awareness and use of BC 1 Call’s service, we’ve both extended and expanded our annual PSA campaign to reach more British Columbians,” said Chris Hyland, President and CEO of BC 1 Call. “We’re particularly excited about our new fun and informative ads featuring the different types of work that can cause damage to infrastructure and affect delivery of critical services to homes and businesses. Watch and listen for our new jingle!”
The excavating community is asked to join in this effort by using BC 1 Call’s service to know what’s below before breaking ground. Over 40% of B.C.’s reported underground infrastructure damage incidents and service disruptions can be avoided simply by contacting BC 1 Call and following BC 1 Call members’ safe digging instructions.
BC 1 Call operates as a non-profit funded by its members. By making BC 1 Call’s service free to the excavating community, BC 1 Call and its members are working together to protect people, the environment and B.C. communities. Anyone can request a free locate request ticket online 24/7 at bc1c.ca or via phone during regular business hours at 1-800-474-6886. An online request through bc1c.ca is quick and convenient. BC 1 Call members will get back to you within three business days of placing your request.
Dean Schmitke, Senior Safety Officer, Incident Investigation, Technical Safety BC:
“An exposed gas line is vulnerable to damage. Contacting BC1 Call before digging is an important first step to understand what’s below. We also encourage everyone to understand what precautions must be taken during excavation once a gas line is exposed. Please prioritize safety this spring and click or call before you dig.”
Dan Strand, Director of Prevention Field Services, WorkSafeBC:
“Employers must be aware of the potential hazards and the WorkSafeBC regulatory requirements that apply when their workers are digging or disturbing the ground for any reason — particularly when working near buried utilities. Prior to starting any excavation work, it is crucial to contact BC1 Call. Even small-scale digging projects can pose significant risks to workers, as they may accidentally damage cables, conduits, and pipes. By promoting safe digging practices across British Columbia, we can work together to prevent serious injuries.”
– 30 –
About BC 1 Call
BC 1 Call is the link between the excavating community and the owners of underground infrastructure. By contacting BC 1 Call, private landowners and commercial excavators reduce the risk of personal injury and property damage. BC 1 Call has over 360 members across British Columbia including municipalities, communication service providers, gas and pipeline companies and irrigation and improvement districts. BC 1 Call is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and has support from the BC Energy Regulator (BCER), the Canada Energy Regulator, Technical Safety BC and WorkSafeBC.