History of Dig Safely
In 1996, OPS organized a stakeholders' group to develop a national
damage prevention education campaign. This group came to be called the
Damage Prevention Quality Action Team (DAMQAT). It was comprised of
natural gas and liquid transmission pipeline systems, large and small
natural gas distribution operators, state and federal regulatory
agencies, professional excavators, one-call systems, the insurance
industry and the telecommunications industry.
Specific stakeholders included in DAMQAT were the American Gas
Association, American Public Gas Association, One Call Systems
International, the National Telecommunications Damage Prevention
Council, the Associated General Contractors of America, the National
Association of State Pipeline Safety Representatives, the National
Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the American Petroleum
Institute and the Interstate National Gas Association of America.
DAMQAT assessed the status of damage prevention programs and
effectiveness, and to identify additional opportunities that could lead
to a reduction in excavation damage. This work led to the development
and implementation of the damage prevention education pilot campaign
known as Dig Safely.
With continuing support from OPS and stakeholder organizations, Dig
Safely turned out a succession of successful program guides, starting
with a guide to a trade advertising campaign and direct mail packages.
More than 20,000 copies of "Get the Dirt," a video, were distributed in
both English and Spanish.
Launch of 811
The establishment of 811 as the
national call-before-you-dig number in May 2007 allowed stakeholders to
collaborate on a national campaign promoting one number.
The designation and launch of 811 provided a significant and rare
opportunity for the call-before-you-dig process to gain national
attention. Leading up to the 811 kick-off, CGA worked with
stakeholders to develop a campaign geared toward building
awareness throughout the United States. The CGA launched the
811 national campaign and web site (www.call811.com) in May 2007 and
continues to focus on supporting this initiative.