The pipeline industry’s highest priority is the safety of people and the environment in the continuous pursuit of operating with zero incidents.
Pipeline companies take their responsibility to conduct safe and reliable operations seriously. People who live on or near a pipeline route can also play an important role in pipeline safety. Awareness is the key to preventing pipeline accidents and excavation damage. Pipeline operators emphasize a “see something, say something” approach to pipeline safety.
Eyes and ears along our national pipeline network can assist with identifying potential problems, such as unauthorized excavation on the right-of-way. Everyone can contribute to safety and security by knowing the location of pipelines in their communities, how to recognize unauthorized activity or unusual conditions, and how to respond in the case of a pipeline incident.
An underground utility line is damaged once every nine minutes because someone neglected to call 811 prior to excavation activities. Calling 811 or clicking before you dig reduces the risk of causing damage to less than one percent.
Energy pipeline companies have joined with other infrastructure operators – electric utilities, fiber optic and cable installers, telephone utilities, municipal water and sewer officials – to create and often finance One Call Centers or Click Before You Dig websites that serve all 50 states and the District of Columbia. While laws vary by state, all require most excavators to contact the local or state specific One Call Center responsible for their area before any digging begins. For more information, visit www.call811.com or ClickBeforeYouDig.com.
Anyone planning to dig or excavate – whether to build a fence, dig drainage ditches, add an addition to a house or build a new facility – is responsible for contacting the state’s One Call Center first to help avoid underground utilities during digging or excavation activities. The utility owner, in turn, provides specific location information to the excavator and marks the underground facility with above-ground APWA (American Public Works Association) color-coded markings. Learn more about how 811 Works:
“Call 811” is a campaign led by the government and underground utilities to raise public awareness of the One Call Center process and how to contact the appropriate center. “Call 811” also provides guidance on safe digging practices, including accurately locating and marking pipelines and other underground infrastructure. Interested parties can also visit www.ClickBeforeYouDig.com to submit an electronic ticket for locating requests. To learn more, visit www.call811.com or ClickBeforeYouDig.com.
Pipeline companies, other underground infrastructure owners, excavators, and government officials participate in the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an association dedicated to preventing damage to underground facilities.
Additionally, CGA and its members regularly update Common Ground Alliance Best Practices, which have proven successful in reducing pipeline incidents caused by excavation damage, improving worker safety, and promoting public safety. CGA’s Best Practices cover planning and design, One Call Center operations, locating and marking, excavation, mapping, compliance, public education, and reporting and evaluation.