USIC partners with excavators on safe digging for underground infrastructure

April 12, 2023
In addition to increasing staffing and enhancing training for its field workforce, the company said it is collaborating with the utilities it serves to educate legislators on the changes needed to dig safe laws.

USIC, a company specializing in underground infrastructure damage prevention, announced that it is reaching out to the excavation community to ensure the level of partnership needed to protect the nation’s 20 million miles of underground utilities that provide the power, water, and communication services for homes and businesses, and to keep excavators and communities safe.

USIC notes that the law requires that prior to digging, a utility locate request must be submitted by calling 811 or online at www.811beforeyoudig.com, creating a ticket to have underground utilities in a defined area marked to prevent damage from excavation and mitigate safety hazards.

However, the company notes that most states’ 811 systems and dig safe laws were designed for single-address or small-scope project tickets.

Meanwhile, USIC contends that with the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021, locate tickets for large-scope projects, such as fiber overbuilds, broadband installation, and clean energy infrastructure construction, have increased nearly 80% nationwide.

The company notes these large-scope project tickets require significantly more time and resources to complete, creating challenges for utility locators and excavators.

In response to this challenge, USIC announced it is taking measures to ensure timely locates and safe digging in this rapidly evolving operating environment.

To wit, in addition to increasing staffing and enhancing training for its field workforce, the company said it is collaborating with the utilities it serves to educate legislators on the changes needed to dig safe laws, and to provide guidance to excavators on submitting locate requests to eliminate the need for unnecessary marking by utility locators, to enable them to focus on the timely completion of the locates excavators require to keep their projects on schedule.

USIC president and CEO Mike Ryan explained:

“In response to the challenges presented by the significant increase in large-scope project tickets nationwide, USIC is investing in and restructuring our workforce and operations and collaborating with our customers on solutions which ensure our ability to continue to provide the highest quality, on-time locating services. We are committed to protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure, keeping excavators and our communities safe, and ensuring uninterrupted utility services. During National Safe Digging Month and on behalf of the entire USIC team, I want to thank our partners - the utilities we serve and the excavation community we support - for sharing our commitment. We each have an important role to play in ensuring safe digging as our country continues to grow and advance.”

Excavators can find USIC’s guidance on submitting utility locate requests online at USIC's Groundwork – Guidance for Submitting Utility Locate Requests page.

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About the Author

Matt Vincent | Senior Editor

Matt Vincent is a B2B technology journalist, editor and content producer with over 15 years of experience, specializing in the full range of media content production and management, as well as SEO and social media engagement best practices, for both Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine and its website CablingInstall.com. He currently provides trade show, company, executive and field technology trend coverage for the ICT structured cabling, telecommunications networking, data center, IP physical security, and professional AV vertical market segments. Email: [email protected]

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