April has been deemed Dig Safe Month by Toronto Hydro because the return of warmer weather means the city will start to see an increase in landscaping and construction projects. It also means there’s an increased risk of underground cable strikes. Dig Safe is a Canada-wide initiative.
The electricity distributing company is urging contractors (as well as homeowners) to make sure they're taking the right steps to avoid digging into underground electrical cables or other buried utilities.
"Before starting any work around the house, it's important to find out what's underground. Whether it's a homeowner or a contractor, the first step is to contact Ontario One Call to have them locate any buried utilities," said Tori Glass, spokesperson for Toronto Hydro.
Each time a dig-in happens, there's a real safety risk to the people involved because contact with a live power line can cause severe injuries and, in some cases, even death. Following safety standards are key, but it's also the law as stated by the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Data from Toronto Hydro shows that the majority of dig-ins are caused by contractors using heavy machinery, such as excavators. Contractors should contact Ontario One Call – a free service that marks the location of underground utilities – at 1-800-400-2255, before putting any shovels into the ground.
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