The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) reminds homeowners and businesses to call 811 before undertaking outdoor projects that require digging.
MPSC Chairman Orjiakor Isiogu joined legislators and representatives of utilities and MISS DIG, Inc. at an event at the Capitol today to highlight the importance of following safe digging practices.
April marks Safe Digging Month in Michigan. State Sen. Mike Nofs and State Rep. Ken Horn this week introduced a legislative proclamation recognizing the importance of calling 811 to have underground utilities marked before digging.
“With warmer temperatures, come outdoor projects that require digging,” said Isiogu. “A simple call to 811 beforehand can prevent injuries, damage to important infrastructure, and loss of utility service.”
Dialing 811 in Michigan connects callers to MISS DIG, a statewide, one-call center for construction safety and utility damage prevention. Once a request is received, MISS DIG contacts local utility companies, according to the location where a caller plans to dig. Utilities will send representatives to mark the approximate location of underground lines with paint and/or staking flags within three working days. The service is free.
Each year, hundreds of dig-in accidents are caused by careless digging, which results in damage to utility lines, service interruptions, property damage, financial penalties and personal injuries, according to Kathie Fournier, MISS DIG chief executive officer and executive director. “Whether you’re a homeowner or contractor, calling 811 is a very simple way to avoid some very serious consequences,” she noted.
The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth.