CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Dominion Energy is asking people to observe safe digging practices, as many people who are at home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are working on various at-home projects.
In s news release, Dominion officials reminded the public that if any of their projects require digging, they must call 811 at least two business days before shovels hit the soil to avoid encountering underground utilities.
“National Safe Digging Month has taken on a heightened sense of urgency this year,” said Jonell Carver, Dominion Energy West Virginia’s director gas operations. “It is more critical than ever before that we all do our part to keep our communities safe and avoid placing any additional burdens on our first responders. We urge everyone in the community to please put the safety of your family, neighbors and community first, and call 811 before you dig.”
The release stated that each day, Dominion’s employees take ownership of workplace safety and promote that behavior in the communities they serve. The release also stated Dominion has set the expectation that all excavating contractors must be certified through the Gold Shovel Association by January 2021 in West Virginia. Additionally, Dominion holds annual meetings with first responders and contractors in its service territories to emphasize the importance of communication while sharing best safety practices..
Dominion Energy is reminding resident to follow these important steps if they plan to dig on their property:
- Call before you dig: State law requires that before digging, you call WV811 by dialing 811, using the WV811 app or visiting WV811.com to request to have your lines located at least two full working days before beginning any excavation work.
- Wait: At no cost to you, technicians will mark the location of the utility lines on your property while practicing safe social distancing and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. Once all lines are marked, you will be notified and can safely begin your digging project.
- Respect the markings for your safety: Dig at least two feet on all sides of the marks, not on them, preferably using a rounded or blunt-edged tool near the utility markers.
- Dig with care: If you accidentally hit a Dominion Energy utility line, no matter how minor it may seem, leave the area. From a safe place, call 911 and Dominion Energy at 1-800-688-4673.
The release explained that with Dominion’s natural gas utility lines, dafe digging also stops methane from being released into the atmosphere when a pipeline gets damaged. Over the past 20 years, third-party damage has been the primary cause of incidents to natural gas infrastructure, according to the release.
The release also stated that Dominion Energy conducts public awareness programs to educate landowners near company facilities, to reduce the likelihood of dig-ins or other harm that can cause a release of methane into the atmosphere.