The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Globe Investor

News Sources

Take control of your investments with the latest investing news and analysis

Press release from Business Wire

Call Before You Dig to Help Avoid a Digging Disaster

<p class='bwalignc'> <i><b>Dialing 811 can help prevent damage and save lives</b></i> </p>

Monday, August 13, 2012

Call Before You Dig to Help Avoid a Digging Disaster07:28 EDT Monday, August 13, 2012 HARTFORD, Conn. (Business Wire) -- The Common Ground Alliance, an association dedicated to ensuring public safety and environmental protection, reports that an underground utility is struck every three minutes across America with natural gas and telecommunications lines being most commonly struck*. With that in mind, Travelers is reminding anyone who digs to call before you dig and dial 811 to help stay safe and prevent damage to underground utilities. “Dialing 811 prior to any digging project drastically reduces the chances of hitting an underground utility,” said John Komidar, Vice President, Travelers Risk Control. “The Common Ground Alliance reports that when a call center is notified prior to digging, underground utilities are struck less than one percent of the time. This one small step can make a big difference in being responsible for thousands of dollars in repairs or worse, a life threatening accident.” Travelers supports the Common Ground Alliance's best practice of calling 811 at least two business days in advance of any digging project. Even routine projects may lead to hitting an underground utility. Utilities including gas, sewer and telephone lines may be 18 to 36 inches below ground or less depending on state requirements. These are depths that can easily be hit when simply planting a tree or putting in a mailbox. Failure to identify underground utilities prior to a digging project can create financial risk for homeowners and professional contractors. Not only could there be a significant injury or damage to the property as a result of hitting a utility that could need repair, but there could also be fines by the local regulators, liability for repair of the damaged utility and potential liability to neighboring homes or businesses impacted by utility outages. If an underground utility is struck, contact appropriate emergency services, the utility company and your insurance company as soon as possible and document the following: All parties involved on the project at the time of the accident Witnesses – identify and get contact information One-Call System ticket numbers Type of utility line struck If you are on site when the utility company responds (and you should be): Number of utility trucks Number of utility company employees Number of repair hours Conversations with utility representatives, contractors and emergency responders Travelers has been a member of the Common Ground Alliance as a National Insurance Company Launch Partner since the inception of the 811 Public Awareness campaign in 2007. Travelers supports this ongoing national initiative for individuals, whether contractor or homeowner, to call the number, 811, before starting any digging activity, from planting a tree to installing a pipeline. Pledge now to call before you dig to help keep the community safe by visiting For other information on ways to help manage risks visit for homeowners and for business owners. About TravelersThe Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. The company's diverse business lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage sold primarily through independent agents and brokers. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and operations in the United States and selected international markets. The company generated revenues of approximately $25 billion in 2011. For more information, visit *Common Ground Alliance, TravelersMatt Bordonaro860-277-7014