811 DayIn conjunction with the Common Ground Alliance, AEM is encouraging safe digging practices among its member companies, their employees and their customers as Aug. 11 approaches, otherwise known as 811 Day.

The Common Ground Alliance has designated Aug. 11 as 811 Day, not only due to the corresponding calendar day, but as a reminder to “call before you dig”. Research has revealed that if someone calls 8-1-1 before they dig, they have a 99 percent chance of avoiding an incident, injury, harm to the environment and even death. AEM is a proud member of the Common Ground Alliance and believes that knowing the importance of safe digging is crucial to successful and safe operating during a contracting or at-home project.

“Calling 811 before starting up a summer gardening or home improvement project is too simple and too crucial to ignore,” said William "Bernie" Bernhard, AEM manager of technical and safety services. “It is vitally important to us at AEM that this message of safety from the CGA is heard and considered, so everyone can avoid possibly dangerous incidents.”

To better highlight the importance of 811 day and safe digging, CGA releases yearly research and statistics. Below are some of the profound statistics found in their research:

  • More than 80 percent of “no call” damages involving hand tools damaged natural gas facilities.
  • 50 percent of reported damages occurred between June and September in 2017.
  • Fewer than half of Americans believe they need to call 811 before simple projects such as installing deck or patio, planting trees and installing a mailbox.
  • 1 in 8 survey respondents have decided to dig without calling 811 because they thought their project was too shallow to interfere with buried facilities.

AEM Supports Safe Digging

AEM is a proud supporter of CGA, and the association and its 900-plus members work diligently to promote 811 in a variety of different ways, including:

  • AEM Safety Manuals provide information on how to use “Call 811”
  • AEM member companies promote “Call 811” on their websites and through advertisement sliders and editorials
  • Manufacturers place “Call 811” signage on their equipment
  • Manufacturers post “811 Know What’s Below” stickers on their equipment
  • References and instructions to “Call 811” are printed in their equipment operator’s manuals
  • “Call 811” is mentioned in every safety video that involves breaking ground
  • “Call 811” is mentioned in safety toolbox talks
  • “Call 811” events are posted on social media outlets
  • Attend and present as industry experts at 811 events
  • Attend and present as industry stakeholders at CGA conferences
  • Participate in the CGA Best Practices committee
  • Use CGA’s website and marketing materials
  • Provide a free download from AEM’s pictorial database that any business, school or organization can use – free of charge

AEM and its members are committed to safety, and AEM assists manufacturers and the off-road equipment industry in fostering safety best practices through the association’s extensive array of safety manuals, videos and related training materials.

For more information, contact AEM’s William “Bernie” Bernhard (wbernhard@aem.org, tel: 414-298-4106).

The latest equipment and technology for the utility and construction industries will be on display at ICUEE - The Demo Expo, Oct. 1-3, 2019 in Louisville, KY.

For more information, contact AEM’s John Somers (jsomers@aem.org, tel: 414-298-4172).

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