National Grid/NYS Raise Awareness for National 811 Dig Safely Day

The digging up of underground utilities is a significant and avoidable cause of gas and electric outages that can result in serious injuries and disrupt power delivery to neighborhoods. On August 11, (8/11) National Grid began a statewide a safety and awareness campaign encourage do-it-yourselfers and construction contractors to call 8-1-1 to request the marking of underground facilities prior to digging.

In upstate New York, National Grid has joined 200 organizations including utility companies, municipal governments and contractors in signing “The 811 Promise,” a written pledge that commits to safety procedures with Dig Safely New York, Inc., a regional effort to raise awareness for safety around digging projects.

In New York City and Long Island, National Grid employees have partnered with employees from The One Call Center, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) and other utilities to help raise the visibility and promote the 8-1-1 service to fans and television viewers with stops at The Today Show and a New York Mets major league baseball game.

“The safety of our customers and employees, and reliable delivery of service are our primary concerns across New York State,” said Ken Daly, National Grid president for New York. “An educated public is our best partner in ensuring that service is not impacted by damage caused by unmarked dig ups. We encourage everyone to work safe and to call 8-1-1 before digging.”

According to the CGA more than 170,000 utility lines annually are damaged by digging. In the pipeline industry alone, statistics for the past 20 years show more than $1.7 billion worth of property damage, 1,906 injuries and 421 deaths have been attributed to unsafe excavation work according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA.)

National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.