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Safe Digging

5 Steps to Safe Digging

The MISS DIG Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act (PA 174) was enacted to enhance public safety, protect the environment, and prevent the disruption of vital public services by reducing incidences of damage to underground facilities caused by excavation or blasting activity.  PA 174 went into effect on April 1, 2014, replacing the previous Protection of Underground Facilities Act of 1974.

PA 174 requires that:

  • An excavator must provide notice of excavation or blasting activities at least 3 business days in advance by calling 811 or via the MISS DIG website.
  • Facility owners and operators must respond to dig tickets by marking the location of facilities in the area of the proposed excavation or blasting activities.
  • Excavator's responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
  • exposure of marked facilities using soft excavation in the caution zone (4 ft on either side of the marks);
  • providing support or bracing of facilities as necessary;
  • providing additional notice to MISS DIG as necessary in the event of destroyed markings;
  • marked facilities cannot be located, or;
  • unmarked facilities are detected.
MISS DIG 5 Steps for Safe Digging
Miss Dig Graphic with Safety Tips


The Michigan Public Service Commission is designated as the enforcing agency under Michigan Public Act 174 (PA 174).  The MPSC must receive and process complaints related to violations of PA 174.  As part of this, the MPSC will schedule inspections and investigations related to PA 174 complaints.  In addition, the MPSC has the authority to assess civil penalties for violations and to require training to ensure future compliance.  For more information about filing a complaint related to PA 174, please visit the MPSC's Inquiries & Complaints page.

Underground Facility Damage Reporting

PA 174 also requires the MPSC to maintain information on excavation damages to underground facilities and to make that information publicly available on its website.  With excavation damage, typically the involved parties are the owner of the facility and the excavator who caused the damage.  However, the MPSC only requires the facility owner or operator to submit information related to incidents of excavation damage on a quarterly basis.  Excavators and other parties may voluntarily elect to submit data for excavation damages but are not required to do so.