Work Safely Around Utilities

Before starting your work outside, first look up and all around to see if there are any overhead lines or signs of underground utilities in your work area. Keep yourself, your tools, ladders, and your equipment at least 10 feet or more away from overhead lines at all times. Remember if no valid 811 locate is in place then no digging! The only safe contact with a utility is no contact at all.

Seven Steps for Safe Excavation:

• Plan your job and pre-mark your dig area with white paint, flags and or stakes
• Call 811 several working days before you dig
• Wait the required time for utility companies to locate and mark their lines
• Perform a pre-excavation site survey to ensure all utilities have been located and you are clear to dig. Contact Tier 2 companies if not on the active response list.
• Respect the marks when digging. At least 18 inches away from the edge of the utility as marked. Don’t drive heavy equipment over the lines until you know their depth. Pothole, vacuum excavate, and or
hand excavate each line to know the depth, and type of line in place.
• Dig with care using heavy equipment and have a knowledgeable dedicated spotter in place 100% of the time.
• Communicate with utility owners through the 811 one call center or the contact information provided with your ticket.

Stay Safe Near Overhead lines:

• Be aware of power and communications lines and equipment in your work area.
• Assume ALL lines are energized and potentially dangerous, even downed ones.
• Mark a safety boundary to keep equipment, workers and the public at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines. Place cones, signs, flags, or “Goal Posts” as an early warning of overhead lines.
• Use a dedicated spotter when traversing under or working near overhead lines.
• Know what to do if your equipment contacts an overhead line. Back everyone away, contact your supervisor, the HSE department and call in an 811 Damage Ticket and if an injury, fire or sparks occur then call 911 for emergency assistance.

If you contact a natural gas pipeline:

• Warn others and leave the area quickly
• Do not use matches, lighters, cell phones, radios as even a small spark could ignite the gas.
• Do not operate any gas company pipeline valves or stop the flow of gas. Leave this for the responders.
• Call 911 and 811 damage response when you have reached a safe distance. If there are emergency
phone numbers on posts or markers for the line it is ok to call these companies directly.
• Always call 811 Damage Ticket even if the damage is a minor nick or scrape.
• Report all utility strikes to your supervisors and the HSE department.

Numbers to remember:

✓ Xcel Energy Electric Emergencies 1 (800) 895-1999
✓ Xcel Energy Gas Emergencies 1 (800) 698-2999
✓ United Power’s Outage Line (303) 637-1350
✓ Denver Water (303) 893-2444 Sewer (303) 446-3400


“Look up to Live. No Locate, No Dig!”

Public Service, 1990 Safety Slogan

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