25 April 2023 | CER Website
April is “Dig Safe” month. It’s a good time to remind people about safe practices anytime they’re digging, whether it’s for their job or at home. It’s important to know what is underground, such as buried pipelines or utility lines, before starting any kind of project.
Click Before You Dig is the best way to find out.
Debbie Clyne, a Regulatory Compliance Officer in the CER’s Pacific Region, meets with contractors and landowners throughout the year to share information on safe digging practices. She encourages them to use their provincial one-call centre, also known as the Click or Call Before You Dig program, before doing any digging.
“The one-call centre will notify you if there’s anything underground where you’re digging. You can submit a request online or over the phone 24/7. It’s easy and can save you from injuring yourself or others in nearby houses if you accidentally hit a utility line.”
Debbie has spoken with many homeowners over the years who have proudly used Click Before You Dig to make a locate request. “Many were nervous at first,” she says, “but they found it very easy to use and are glad they did!”
Many people don’t know that they must contact a One-Call Centre before digging.
“Failure to contact a One-Call Centre to make a locate request is the number one cause of damage to underground infrastructure. A common misunderstanding is that landowners and contractors often think the other party should be making the locate request,” she says. “A good rule of thumb to follow is, whoever is planning to do the work should make the locate request.”
Debbie also works with other provincial and federal organizations like the BC Common Ground Alliance, Canadian Common Ground Alliance, Ag Safe BC and BC 1 Call to help educate stakeholders on the CER’s regulatory requirements.
“By not contacting a one-call centre before digging, contractors or landowners could potentially commit a regulatory violation. They could also seriously endanger themselves and others. There is often a hidden network of underground electrical wires, fibre optic cables, sewer, water and gas or oil pipelines below the surface.”
The CER’s website provides a wealth of information about how to keep safe when living or working near pipelines.
As the nice spring weather moves in, Debbie wants landowners, contractors and homeowners to remember one thing: “Before you put a shovel in the ground, do the right thing – click or call before you dig. It’s simple, only takes a few minutes, and could prevent serious harm to people and property.”
Visit ClickBeforeYouDig.com for a map of all the provincial one-call centres across the country.