By Kim Mason, AGC Houston Director of Safety Services
Hitting A Pipeline Could Cost You Over $8,000!
Every nine minutes, someone hits a gas line, mostly due to construction-related work. Loss issues associated with damages include water and waste water, customer satisfaction, loss of service and a $2,000 fine per incident.
On August 31, 2018, AGC Houston Safety Committee members heard from Jesse Torres, Damage Prevention Manager at Texas 811 about the differences between safe digging and dangerous digging with equipment used on job sites. Torres underscored the importance of contacting the Texas 811 agency to submit a location report of all the underground pipelines that exist on a site, prior to digging.
"As an excavator, it is extremely important you know where underground utility lines are located whenever digging is taking place," he stated. "Using the 811 services can be the difference between safe digging and dangerous digging with any of the equipment used on job sites. There are several options for getting underground lines marked. You can call the Lonestar 811, or use the 811 Portal to process your tickets electronically. Avoid costly damages, contact 811 before you dig!"
He recommended that construction crews use the portal to submit their digging request at least 48 hours before starting the process on job sites. The benefit of applying online also helps to expedite the underground pipe and cable location process. The agency will provide an expected project start date and the scope of work it will include. He also recommends that the contact be an individual ? such as a superintendent- who works on the job site.
Once contractors receive the location report of the jobsite's underground pipes, Torres recommends that all additional work areas (white lining) be marked beyond the pipeline location flags to ensure a safe excavation.
Call 811 Before You Dig! Sign Up For The Texas811 Portal Today!
•The online ticketing application allows 24/7 access for filing Locates on the jobsite;
•Process your own Update and Remark tickets;
•File a report within 30 days of request and take photos of the marked pipeline color-coded location flags;
•There's ''Live Chat help'' available, manuals, and tutorial videos to help you through the process.
In 1998, the Texas Damage Prevention Law became effective, which requires excavators and demolishers to call a notification center at least 48 hours, excluding holidays and weekends before they begin their work.