Everyone has a role to play during April’s “Dig Safe Month”

(Press Release – Guelph, ON) – According to a recent survey, 2 out of 3 Ontarians planning to dig this year will inadvertently put themselves, their loved ones, and their community at risk by not requesting a locate through Ontario One Call*.

Digging without locates is dangerous and against the law.

April is Dig Safe month, and once again, Ontario One Call is raising awareness about the need to “Click Before You Dig”  for any size excavation project.

“We are working with all our partners to ensure that everyone in Ontario understands that if they are planning to dig this year, by law, they must request a locate. That way buried infrastructure owners can identify where their vital cables, wires, and pipes are situated and provide locates,” says Ontario One Call’s Director of Industry Engagement, Ian Simpson. “Everyone needs to dig safely, and the first step is to contact Ontario One Call and request a locate.”

The Stats tell the story (based on the just released ORCGA 2022 DIRT Report):

– There were 4,769 reported damages to buried infrastructure, which is an increase of 8% from the previous year (averaging 19 damages per day)
– 37% of reported damages were due to digging without locates (not requesting and/or digging before receiving a locate)
– 61% of damages caused by people digging without locates were on hazardous and dangerous infrastructure

These damages cost billions of dollars to repair and put people at risk. Under the law, if you dig without a locate you are subject to potential fines and liable for any damages.

Ontario One Call plays a vital role in promoting safe digging. “We do not provide the actual locates,” says Simpson. “We are the one-stop shop that connects people who want to dig with the owners of infrastructure. There is no cost to request a locate through Ontario One Call and you will reduce your risk,” says Simpson. “It’s a win-win.”

If you are planting a tree, building a fence, replacing a mailbox, putting in a new garden, or planning to dig for any reason, you must follow these five steps:

1. Visit OntarioOneCall.ca to learn more about how to request a locate
2. With a few simple clicks, request a locate at least 5 business days before you plan to dig
3. Wait for all buried infrastructure owners, like the gas, electric, internet, water, and sewer companies to locate their infrastructure
4. Review paperwork provided by the buried infrastructure owners to make sure there are no conflicts with where you want to dig
5. Dig safely

To request a locate visit: OntarioOneCall.ca

For media inquiries, please reach out to: Media@OntarioOneCall.ca

*Dig Insight, Ontario One Call Awareness Survey, 2023

Ontario One Call is a service-oriented regulator that acts as a communications link between underground infrastructure owners, and individuals who are planning to dig in the province of Ontario. In 2012, the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act was passed, which stipulates by law that anyone in the province of Ontario must contact Ontario One Call before they dig.

Ian Simpson, Director of Industry Engagement