LANSING –- The Michigan Senate approved a resolution sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs proclaiming April 2011 as “Michigan Safe Digging Month” to remind homeowners and contractors to call MISS DIG at 811 before starting any project that includes digging.
As chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, Nofs spoke about the importance of safety-first at a kickoff event in Lansing along with Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman Orjiakor Isiogu, House Energy and Technology Committee Chair Ken Horn and representatives of MISS DIG and several utility and pipeline companies.
“Warmer weather brings spring projects, but before you begin any landscaping or construction please be safe and call 811,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “It is better to be safe than sorry. Our goal in recognizing Safe Digging Month is to bring awareness to this issue because making this simple call can help prevent serious injuries, property damage and loss of services to the community.”
Nofs added: “This partnership between legislators, state officials, MISS DIG and utilities such as Consumers Energy is vital to continue raising awareness among residents and excavators about the importance of calling 811 before digging.”
According to MISS DIG System, Inc. CEO and Executive Director Kathie Fournier, each year hundreds of dig-in accidents are caused by careless digging, which results in damage to utility lines, service interruptions and personal injuries.
“Michigan law requires a call to 811 before any digging job begins, whether it’s a small residential project or major construction job,” Fournier said.
Nofs’ resolution, Senate Resolution 31, states: “The month of April traditionally marks the beginning of the commercial and residential construction season, when large-scale projects like buildings and roads begin, as well as smaller jobs like installing landscaping, decks, fencing and even street mailboxes.
“We encourage excavators and homeowners throughout our great state to always call 811 before digging. Safe digging is no accident.”