Recognizing the Importance of Safe Digging Month in Canada

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Safe work practices are important year-round, however; April serves as a month to nationally recognize the importance of safe digging and ground disturbance practices for Canadian workers.

Danatec, a division of We Know Training, is dedicated to recognizing the importance of safe work habits in respect to protecting Canadian workers, in every industry across Canada. Danatec believes in promoting safe work practices for all Canadians and encourages all workers to explore the importance of Safe Digging Month.

If you work in an industry where you are required to understand the dangers surrounding ground disturbance, Danatec’s industry-leading ground disturbance training course will provide you the knowledge needed to stay safe while working.

Ground Disturbance and What it Means

Ground Disturbance is described as any work, operation or activity that results in a disturbance of the earth, including, without limitation, excavating, digging, trenching, plowing, drilling, tunnelling, auguring, backfilling, blasting, topsoil stripping, land levelling, peat removing, quarrying, clearing and grading.

Each day in Canada there are thousands of workers completing work which falls under this category. Employers all across the country are obligated to ensure that their workers are aware of all workplace hazards and are competent in completing the tasks they are asked to perform. The biggest hazard in relation to ground disturbance activities is striking any kind of underground utility or infrastructure. Consequences range anywhere from services disruptions to loss of life.

The Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA) is an organization dedicated to the safety of people and the environment which is achieved by promoting the adoption of effective ground disturbance and damage prevention practices. The ABCGA has a committee dedicated to developing training standards related to damage prevention activities. They will endorse a training provider’s course by ensuring that it meets all requirements, deemed necessary by the committee and their stakeholder relationships, to capture industry best practices and effective damage prevention content.

Danatec’s online Ground Disturbance Supervisor training course is fully endorsed by the ABCGA. This course includes the 2016 updates to the 201 training Standard. Ensure that you or your workers know how to effectively manage risk and work safely.

What is the Importance of Safe Digging Month?

Safe Digging Month is designed to coincide with the unofficial start of spring digging season and to serve as a reminder to homeowners and contractors that they need to call or click before they start digging.

Ensuring the safety of those who work or live in the vicinity of underground facilities and protecting vital services is everyone’s responsibility.

April is designated as Safe Digging Awareness Month in both Canada and the United States; however, safe digging is important all year. Workers should always know exactly what is below the ground they are digging into to protect themselves and those around them. To ensure your safety and to protect vital underground utilities, it is important to always “Call or Click before Digging”. 

Any activity that creates ground disturbances over one foot (30 centimetres) deep requires a call to your local one call centre at least two business days in advance. This includes installing posts for decks, dugouts, preparing driveways, planting trees and certain types of farming activities like installing drain tile and deep plowing.

Hidden just below the ground beneath your feet are incredibly complex networks of buried cables, wires, pipelines and sewer lines. This infrastructure delivers heat, electricity, water, phones and Internet access to your homes and offices, making modern life possible. Although these networks are more extensive in cities and towns, buried infrastructure, such as transmission pipelines, also traverses great distances across remote regions of the country.

Every year, thousands of buried facilities are accidentally damaged by digging activities. Services are interrupted in nearly every case and sometimes incidents lead to significant environmental contamination, serious injury and sometimes even death. If you find yourself in a work situation where you are required to dig, or just want to know how to protect yourself in any ground disturbance scenario, find out today how Danatec can help you stay protected.