Call 811 in Ohio before you dig.
One of our agency’s clients just had a $17,000.00 claim for striking an underground electrical wire in a Greater Cleveland parking lot. Even though the client submitted a dig notification, the exact location of the dig in the parking lot was confusing and a grass island in the lot was marked the Illuminating Company’s (the local utility) line was struck.
What could the contractor have done to prevent this unfortunate loss?
- Start by digging with hand tools, potholing, or vacuum excavating for the first 18-24 inches or within the designated tolerance zone. Line locations can be affected by erosion, plant roots, and earth movement.
- Document your worksite process; Even if you have had the locator service mark the area that will be worked on you could hit a utility line. Video the locator marks/flags before you start. Then mark where you will be digging and document this as well. Document the hand digging, or other methods used to start the job. This documentation will provide you with the needed information to show your crew was not at fault.
- If an accident occurs, a quick reaction is important; Contact 911 so the proper emergency services can be dispatched to the scene. The next step in Ohio is to contact 811 or 800-362-2764, to notify the Ohio Utilities Protection Service of the damage. Once everybody is safe, contact your insurance agent so a claim can be made. This will give the insurance company the opportunity to inspect the work site before the repairs were made.
Accidents happen but following these simple steps can reduce your liability exposure to cut cable claims. The Trusted Choice Insurance Agents at Richey Barrett Insurance have been helping excavators and other artisan contractors with their risk management and insurance needs for almost 120 years. So, before you renew your policy give us a call.