The Hidden Price of Outdated Damage Prevention Laws: Part I

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Incidents can have deadly consequences for excavators, emergency response professionals, and other innocent bystanders.

November 21, 2018
Brigham A. McCown - Construction Executive

Excavators know that dialing 811 triggers a process that requires all utilities operating in the service area to find and mark the location of their underground facilities so that they are not damaged during the excavation process. In addition, marking the location of the utilities is intended to keep the public safe, for instance by preventing an excavator from striking a gas line.

But excavators also know that in most states, the laws and regulations that govern these procedures are weak and that enforcement is even weaker. It’s an unfortunate fact that excavators and the public – typically the least culpable parties – suffer the consequences of weak damage prevention laws and lack of strong enforcement regimes.

Reprinted courtesy of Brigham A. McCown, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.



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