April 2018: Safe Digging Month

WHEREAS, April is traditionally the month when spring weather encourages Michigan residents, excavators and farmers to begin many small and large digging projects; and,

WHEREAS, each year these projects result in thousands of unintentional damages to underground utilities and pipelines by those who fail to contact MISS DIG 811 to have underground utilities located; and,

WHEREAS, failure to contact MISS DIG 811 by calling 811 or visiting the organization’s website at MISSDIG811.org before digging is the number one reason why Michigan residents cause unintended damages to underground utilities; and,

WHEREAS, damages to underground utilities can cause service interruption, damage to the environment, and most serious of all, personal injury and even death; and,

WHEREAS, construction to improve the safety and reliability of state infrastructure is creating more excavating projects which makes the importance of contacting MISS DIG 811 and following safe digging procedures vital to safe completion; and,

WHEREAS, MISS DIG 811 Inc. and Dig Safely coalition partners Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, SEMCO Energy, TransCanada Pipeline along with the Michigan Public Service Commission and Michigan legislators continue to work diligently year round to promote 811 and the MISSDIG811.org website to help raise awareness of and reduce underground utility damages; and,

WHEREAS, education about safe digging practices, excavators and homeowners can save time, money and keep our state safe and connected by making a simple call to 811 three working days in advance of any digging project; waiting three business days for utility marks to be made; respecting marked lines by visually siting the line throughout the course of excavation; then hand digging to verify location of marked lines before using power equipment with care within four feet of marks to protect underground utilities; and,

WHEREAS, with the ongoing partnership with these and other utilities, one call centers, the national Common Ground Alliance organization, and state and local governments, all parties agree that safety is a shared responsibility;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2018 as Safe Digging Month in Michigan.