TEXAS 811 launched its 2022 National Safe Digging Month campaign, Some Accidents Can be Avoided in April. During the month of April, the campaign brought awareness of the potential for injuries, property damage, and outages if underground utilities are damaged.
According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) website, if someone calls 8-1-1 before they dig, they have a 99 percent chance of avoiding an incident, injury, harm to the environment and even death. Calling 811 or visiting www. call811.com, has proven to be the foremost preventive measure in excavation safety and damage prevention.
As part of national Safe Digging month, Texas811 partnered with national One-Call centers to educate the community of the importance of calling 811. This included a partnership with Nascar’s Martinsville Speedway. Fans were able to see the campaign theme: Some Accidents Can be Avoided as the Call Before You Dig 250 Race aired nationally April 8, 2022.
During the Call 811 Before You Dig 250 race, fans were exposed to 811 through track signage and an 811 themed trophy for the winner. Each One-Call center that partnered on this initiative also shared similar social media messages the month leading up to the race and during the month of April.
At a state level, we partnered with other stakeholders in the 811 industry during March and April at the Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, TX. Race fans saw 811 signage at the track and heard about the importance of 811 during track events.
In addition to the Call Before You Dig 250 race, Texas811 raised awareness about first responder safety by hosting a social media contest for fire stations in Texas. We asked firefighters across Texas to help share our messages about safe digging on their social media pages to be entered into a contest for a chance to win either a Traeger Pellet Smoker or a 75in Smart TV for their station.
You may be asking yourself, “How does this tie into safe digging?”. That’s a great question. Many people don’t think about the impact a damaged underground utility line has on first responders. When someone is digging and they damage a gas line, first responders are usually the first ones on scene to ensure public safety. First Responders are required to stay on scene until the utility operator can shut off and repair their line. While natural gas is a safe form of energy at the burner, there are certain dangers associated with gas leaking uncontrolled from a pipeline. A few common ignition sources include electrostatic discharge, starting a car engine, any open flame, turning electrical appliances on or off, or even flipping a light switch. A flash fire or explosion could potentially endanger our first responders and the general public that they serve.
We are excited about these partnerships for this year’s National Safe Digging Month and look forward to 811 Day in August.