Contractor Excavation Safety
Know what's below your worksite, call 811 before you dig!
New Mexico 811 is a free service that you use before you do any kind of digging to make sure you don’t damage underground lines. Let us know at least two working days (not counting the day of call) before you start digging and we will help you avoid costly or dangerous buried lines by alerting the owners of lines in the digging area.
Excavators are required by law to maintain a clearance of 18 inches from the cutting edge of his mechanical equipment, including mechanical boring, to the edge of the underground facility as determined by the horizontal mark on the surface of the ground. Depth of facilities is not provided.
DIG SAFELY: Increase Excavation Safety and Reduce Damage to Vital Underground Utilities
DIG SAFELY is a nationally recognized safety program developed by an industry wide group of experts from all stakeholder groups including excavators and utility operators. The purpose is to increase excavation safety and reduce dangerous and expensive damage to vital underground utilities. The Office of Pipeline Safety of the US Department of Transportation introduced it. The DIG SAFELY message is at the heart of the New Mexico One-Call law.
In New Mexico, DIG SAFELY means:
Only begin excavation after the area is marked or cleared and positive response has been provided by all underground facility owners/operators (UFOs) and the two working day marking period has expired.
State law requires the excavator to preserve line location markings or provide an offset mark before obliterating a locate mark.
Maintain the required tolerance zone until the underground facility has been exposed (by hand digging or vacuum excavation) and can be clearly seen.
Provide the required support for exposed underground facilities during the excavation as necessary.
Use the proper procedures to backfill with care and avoid damage to existing underground facilities.
Call for relocates when appropriate if the excavation work is delayed and going to exceed 10 working days.
What do I do if I damage an underground facility?
If you damage an underground facility If an underground facility is damaged during excavation, you must stop excavation, call 911 if appropriate, notify the UFO immediately, and call 811 to report the damage. Damage may include nicks, dents, gouges, cuts, scrapes or scratches to the coating, insulating jacket, or tracer wire.