By William “Bernie” Bernhard, AEM Technical and Safety Services Manager

Know Before You DigAEM and the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) have worked diligently together to promote safety in all utility excavation. Why? Because it saves lives.

AEM has long supported CGA’s efforts, education and awareness campaigns, and it dedicates a page in all of its underground excavation safety manuals to CGA’s “811 – Know what’s below. Call before you dig” message. In addition, AEM Senior Vice President, Construction, Mining & Utility Al Cervero is a member of the CGA Board.

CGA, which celebrates its 10th anniversary of damage prevention services in 2017, has adopted August 11 as #811Day to springboard its promotional campaigns and large-scale national initiatives, as well as highlight a toolkit of educational materials as outreach programs to reach target audiences. These audiences include farmers, landscapers and fence contractors, utility excavation contractors, as well as homeowners who dig on their own property.

AEM and its 900-plus members assist with CGA’s efforts to promote 811 in a number of ways, including the following:

  •          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

Also, if you are working in Canada, remember to “Click before you dig” to ensure the safety of anyone digging in the ground.

AEM and its members are proud to be associated and participate with CGA’s “Call 811” campaign and all of its efforts to improve safety for farmers, contractors and homeowners, as well as throughout the entire utility excavation industry.