Certified Exacvator Program in Safe Digging Best Practices Update:
Due to COVID-19, Dig Safely New York's certification card printing vendor has had to shut down production. Therefore, certification cards that are produced and sent to those who have successfully completed the Certified Excavator Program in Safe Digging Best Practices will not be printed until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience. Certificates of completion can still be printed off from an individual's Coursettra account.
Member Utility Notice:
During the last several days, the Governor has issued numerous executive orders relating to the health emergency. We are aware that our member owners of underground facilities are feeling the impacts and risks of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). State guidelines have mandated that office occupancy for must be reduced by 100% for non-essential businesses.
The list of businesses that are defined as “essential” includes industries such as utilities and construction providers. The executive orders also include in the definition of essential businesses “vendors of essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses.” In addition to the above exemption, the Guidance for Determining Whether a Business Enterprise is Subject to a 100% Workforce Reduction Under Executive Order 202.6 issued by Empire State Development specifically exempts telecommunications and data centers as essential infrastructure businesses. Dig Safely qualifies as an “essential business” within the meaning of the applicable executive orders. Our services support safety for the ongoing operations of utilities and construction services. Consequently, utilities, construction companies and Dig Safely are exempt from the 100 percent work at home requirement. Additionally, there is nothing in any of the Governor’s Orders that relaxes or eliminates the mandates of the law or Code Rule 753. If Dig Safely or its members were to stop performing tasks in a customary manner, public safety could be threatened.
Even though our membership is considered essential, you may have less people at your offices to conduct daily requirements. Some of those requirements include Location Requests received from us at Dig Safely New York.
While Dig Safely New York, Inc. has reduced office occupancy, all of our staff is still operational and we are continuing to process all location requests. We feel this is in the best interest of all members, excavators, homeowners and our communities.
We have been made aware that some municipalities may only be responding to emergency location requests due to a limited workforce. We do not endorse that policy, but recognize that each of you must deal with your practical limitations. Please update Dig Safely New York on your organization's changes in abilities to respond to Location Requests so that we can advise callers in that area. At this time, we will be implementing a notice to all callers that location request responses may be delayed, and reiterating the verification of responses aspect of the law.
As a member utility, you have responsibilities under the law. Please ensure that you are still adhering to 16 NYCRR Part 753 (Code Rule 753), which states that all members must make a reasonable attempt to inform the excavator, by means of the Automated Positive Response system or by direct communications with the excavator.
Everyone in New York has been impacted by the spread and risks of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). If you are in the excavation or utility industry, you are likely feeling the impact of the pandemic. Due to the State guidelines, organizations are working to reduce staff and occupancy in their offices. Therefore, resources may not be as robust as usual. This may impact the ability to respond to all Location Requests in a timely manner.
We are being made aware that some municipalities may only be responding to emergency location requests due to a limited workforce. Please ensure that you and your staff are still adhering to 16 NYCRR Part 753 (Code Rule 753), which states that all excavators are required to confirm all utility responses before commencing work. If you haven’t received a Positive Response from a facility owner you cannot blast or use mechanized equipment. If you intend to start working, please contact that facility owner for an update and wait for that facility to be marked or cleared before commencing your job. Please follow NYS Code Rule 753 to keep your crews and the public safe. A damaged facility could cause more chaos in today’s environment than ever before.
With safety in mind, Dig Safely New York, Inc. has also reduced its office occupancy. We are still here to take calls, but due to the work-at-home nature, phone calls may take slightly longer than normal. Our web services have no interruption in service. You can place a Location Request online anytime, anywhere you have Internet. To request an i-Notice account today, please email inotice@DigSafelyNewYork.com.
If your staffing has been reduced and you can no longer perform your excavation, it is best practice to cancel the pending Location Request associated with that job. You can cancel a Location Request by filling out the form located here, or calling 811. If you have already started work on a job and need to stop work, you must maintain your marks or request a new Location Request once you are ready to commence your job again. To save the form used to cancel Location Requests for future use, please bookmark https://www.digsafelynewyork.com/cancel-location-request-form.
Dig Safely New York Events Update: With the uncertainty of the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus); safety concerns for our communities, employees, and customers; and guidance from regional and state officials, Dig Safely New York will be canceling its remaining Excavator Safety Seminars in the Finger Lakes region, Western New York, and Central New York. Dig Safely New York has also made the decision to cancel all educational events that were to be facilitated over the next 30 days (starting 03/12/2020). Our goal is to reschedule all educational events, including the three canceled Excavator Safety Seminars once we are comfortable with the conditions in the state.
We understand that this decision may impact your educational requirements. If you planned to attend one of our seminars as a renewal requirement for your Certified Excavator Program in Safe Digging Best Practices through Dig Safely New York, or had a certification master or renewal class scheduled with an area field representative, you still have the opportunity to take your renewal online through Coursettra – Dig Safely New York’s Learning Management System.
If you are experiencing any difficulties or have any questions, please visit My.DigSafelyNewYork.com to access Coursettra, view tutorials, and submit support requests. You can also contact your area field representative, by calling 1-855-811-REPS (7377), or visit https://www.digsafelynewyork.com/contact-field-rep.