Dig Safely Media Network


How a relatively new law is making Upstate New York Safer

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About Dig Safely New York, Inc.

Dig Safely New York, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that protects homeowners, do-it-yourselfers, communities, and professionals, by working as the liaison between community members and underground utility operators.

Dig Safely New York is the only one-call center that serves all of New York State, except for New York City and Long Island, which is served by NY811.

Dig Safely and Dig Safely New York are used under license from Dig Safe System, Inc. 

Exactly 14,916 certified excavators across the state of New York are making the state a safer place as of May 31st this year. This after a new piece of legislation was signed into law last year.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “In November of 2018, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that provides any excavator that works for a local government or operator, as well as their hired contractors, must complete an approved training and education program.

Dig Safely New York’s Certified Excavator Program (CEP), a Public Service Commission-approved program, fulfills the training and education requirement, providing increased public safety and utility protection.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “Since that legislation was signed, more than 14,800 excavators completed the approved educational program through Dig Safely New York – The Certified Excavator Program in Safe Digging Best Practices. This approved curriculum is offered both in-person and online. The four-hour program provides an in-depth look into the laws and best practices that regulate excavation in New York State, offering students an interactive opportunity to use their knowledge to overcome the daily obstacles they would encounter in the field around underground utilities.”

Dig Safely New York has five field representatives who cover 55 counties in the state of New York, excluding New York City and Long Island.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “Annually, Dig Safely New York trains between 13,000 and 16,000 excavators through various curriculums. Since this law was adopted our staff has educated nearly 24,000 individuals, more than 14,000 of which through the Certified Excavator Program.

These stats cover from January 1st, 2019 to September 30th, 2019.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “Education and training from Dig Safely New York can reduce preventable threats to underground infrastructure. Education regarding underground facility safety is needed, now more than ever, as New York State works towards broadband access for all, and addresses the State’s aging infrastructure. We are eager to support these statewide initiatives through our Certified Excavator Program, ensuring that utilities, families, and businesses are safe and protected.

The law went to effect on May 4th, 2019 for this very reason.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “It is well known that damages to underground utility lines can cause inconvenient outages to neighborhoods, businesses, or vital resources like hospitals or 911 centers. Damages can also cause safety concerns, resulting in injury and death at times, much like the recent July incident in Murrieta, California. Damages waste time and delay projects and even result in costly fines, repair fees, and insurance increases for privately-owned companies. Now, this landmark legislation, which increases education standards for countless New York State excavators, furthers our mission to eliminate preventable excavation damages and protect the communities in which we live and serve.”

To learn more about the law and how it’s making your community safer, visit www.digsafelynewyork.com/cep.


Dig Safely New York to Host Family-Friendly Community Day Event



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Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “On August 11, 2019, Dig Safely New York is hosting a Community Day. This day is intended to be a free family-friendly event that commemorates our organization’s 50-year anniversary and celebrates 811 Day, which serves as a natural calendar date to bring awareness to the importance of damage prevention.”

This is the first time Dig Safely New York has hosted an event like this for its 811 Day activities. With more than 15 vendors, it will give everyone something fun to do on a Sunday in August.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “We’ll have presentations from The Wild Animal Park. The Syracuse Mets will be here. The American Cancer Society is bringing out its big blow-up chair. It’s going to be a great event for parents and their kids!”

The event is from 11:00am to 5:00pm. There will be a variety of food trucks on-site to purchase a meal.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “We’re excited to have this variety of vendors, but most importantly we’re excited for members of the community to tour our new facility and see what we do to keep their neighborhoods safe.”

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “Not only is the event free for families, but attendees will also get free items from the vendors and Dig Safely New York. And, families can collect raffle tickets at each vendor they visit. Attendees will be able to use these raffle tickets to enter to win a prize of their choice, donated by regional businesses like gift certificates to Turning Stone Casino and Resort and a prize pack from Syracuse Crunch, to name a few.”

For more information about the event, you can visit www.digsafelynewyork.com/communityday. You can also follow our event on our Facebook page under events.


Dig Safely New York Pushes Online Request Platform This Summer


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Summer is officially in full swing – which means homeowners will be spending time outdoors, gardening, building outdoor patios and digging.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “We are in the midst of construction season, and our busiest time of the year. Our call volume is at a record high and our hold times are longer than normal. To alleviate unnecessary stress and time for projects, we have online options for professional excavators and for homeowners to utilize to submit a location request before their outdoor digging project – i-Notice and Single Address Ticket.”

The Single Address Ticket allows any homeowner in New York to place their request online before they dig.”

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “It is well known that damages to underground utility lines can cause inconvenient outages to neighborhoods, businesses, or vital resources like hospitals or 911 centers. With the New York summer humidity, we don’t want anyone risking knocking out power or entire neighborhood because they hit the electrical line that could have been avoided.”

You simply add your email address, click agree, get the code sent to your email and start the process. From there, you select your area and all additional information required. Once the ticket is complete, then all the necessary utilities are immediately notified.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “We created these online tools to streamline the process for professionals and homeowners, alike. Location Requests can be placed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days through our online or phone services. Our online options give individuals the opportunity to place these requests anytime, anywhere they have Internet access, offering more flexibility and freedom.”

If you want to submit a location request online, visit www.digsafelynewyork.com/singleaddressticket.


New York State Schools Demonstrate What Will the World Look Like in 50 Years


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Students worked on a project throughout September and October to strengthen their knowledge of safety — Dig Safely New York’s School Poster Contest. The organization is celebrating 50-years of underground utility safety throughout 2019 and invited classrooms across the state to look towards the future and show their predictions. The students of today are the leaders of tomorrow, so they shared their vision of What the world will look like in 50-years.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “With 50 years of business, Dig Safely New York's operations have evolved and changed significantly. We are no longer just a passive call center transmitting data. We have evolved into a hub for data, education, and technology. In honor of Dig Safely New York's 50th Anniversary, we wanted to involve our state's future generation. Dig Safely New York invited students to participate in a poster contest, illustrating what they think the world will be like in 50 years.”

Six schools, across the state, are in the running for a grand prize of $1,000 towards school supplies through this contest. They were given school supplies provided by Dig Safely New York to create these masterpieces. Masterpieces that gives everyone a look at what they think is in store for their future.

Kevin Hopper, Executive Dir. of Dig Safely New York: “After reviewing the posters that were submitted, we realized the issues the younger generation is focused on. What they created is the world they believe they will live in, in 50 years. A lot of them have to do with the environment and you can tell these students put a lot of work and thought into creating these futuristic visions. I have no doubt that the world in which we live will change over the next 50 years; in what ways I am not certain. However, one thing that should remain constant will be our reliance on buried utilities. As we navigate the next 50 years, the need for education to prevent damages to this underground world will remain, ensuring the safe delivery of the various utility services we rely on to keep our world moving forward."

Public voting is still open. Visit www.DigSafelyNewYork.com/PublicVoting to cast your vote.

*A photography/video release form has been provided for the images of the children shown*

Schools Shown in Order:

  • State Street Elementary
    • Skaneateles, NY
  • Mexico Middle School
    • Mexico, NY
  • Pembroke Intermediate School
    • Corfu, NY
  • Moravia Junior/High Central School
    • Moravia, NY
  • Laurens Central School
    • Laurens, NY