Call Before You Dig—But Don’t Stop There!

Every contractor knows to call 811 before starting work on an underground cable plant installation, but that’s not all. The Excavation Safety Alliance’s “Pre-Excavation Checklist” is included in its Excavation Safety Guide and Directory, which I used as a reference for this month’s quiz.

1. The most common contractor mistake causing damage in underground construction is _____.

Correct Answer: Failure to call 811 before digging

2. When planning an underground installation, you should begin by gathering the _____ of the job-site area.

Correct Answer: All of the above

3. About half of projects cannot begin on time because the contractor fails to call 811 at least _____ before construction begins.

Correct Answer: 2–3 business days

4. Like any construction project, one of the first things to do is walk the site while doing a careful inspection of the entire job site and adjacent areas.

Correct Answer: True

5. During a site inspection, you should have _____ available for reference.

Correct Answer: Maps, sketches or photographs

6. During a site inspection, you should look for _____.

Correct Answer: All of the above

7. It is important to talk to the property owner or general contractor on a project to identify _____ that may not be marked or identified.

Correct Answer: Privately installed and owned utilities such as lighting, irrigation and communications

8. Document the job site thoroughly with notes and photographs or videos for reference.

Correct Answer: True

9. Documentation of the excavation should note where _____ or _____ may be required near critical utilities for safety.

Correct Answer: Hand digging
Correct Answer: Hydro or vacuum excavation

10. You are ready to dig when _____.

Correct Answer: Yes, all of the above, really!