Call Before You Dig

What you need to know about power lines before you work.

One of the most potentially hazardous electrical situations in industrial plants and on construction sites is accidental contact with overhead or underground wiring. Protection from contact with overhead wiring is provided best by ISOLATION, or distance. The covering on some overhead lines is weatherproofing; it is not intended to provide insulated protection from contact. This plastic coating may become brittle, making it easy to crack and fall off.

Operators of equipment like backhoes, dump trucks, bucket trucks, concrete pumpers and booms and cranes should be especially conscious of overhead wiring. The hazard of contact is also posed to workers on scaffolding or those handling or moving any type of long tools or equipment, like sections of metal pipe.

Before you begin any work, including construction, within 10 feet of an overhead electrical line carrying more than 750 volts, you should check your state laws, regulations and guidelines, and federal standards.

The Code of Alabama requires that persons responsible for digging, excavation or blasting must provide at least two working days advance notice to the operators or owners of any underground facilities in the area.

It is important to call Alabama 811 before you dig because it provides you with protection from damage claims, injuries and lawsuits - not to mention downtime - that can result from digging, boring or blasting without being aware of underground facilities. It can also save Alabama residents the inconvenience of damaged facilities resulting in the loss of utility services. And in some cases, calling before you dig can even save lives!

Notification to Alabama Power Company can be made by calling Alabama 811 between:

7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday Call 811 or 800-292-8525 (in Alabama)

You will be asked to give some information pertaining to your excavation site. Please have this information ready when you call to prevent unnecessary delays.

There is no charge to the caller for this service. Alabama 811 is a non-profit organization and its voluntary membership includes the owners of most major underground facilities in Alabama.

Alabama 811 will also accept notification calls for emergency excavations which need to commence sooner than two working days. Alabama 811 members will work to mark their lines for you as soon as possible.

For more information on Alabama 811, visit their website.

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