Even seemingly minor tasks, such as installing a fence or planting a tree, could spell trouble without taking proper precautions.
That was the message presented during a launch for April’s Dig Safe Month at Union Gas headquarters in Chatham on Thursday.
Ian Ross, director of distribution systems, said there were approximately 1,000 incidents of cut gas lines in Ontario in Union Gas’ jurisdiction alone last year.
Of these, 35 per cent were by people who didn’t call before digging.
“It puts public and worker safety at risk,” he said, noting the results can be catastrophic. “It’s a simple call that keeps you and our community safe.”
Last year, the company experienced 119 damages in the Chatham-Kent/Windsor district.
Factoring in other services, such as hydro, water, sewer, telephone and cable lines, the monetary repair cost can be tens of millions of dollars, Ross said.
There is no charge to request locates for utilities and callers are asked to use the hotline five days in advance of digging.
“You can use the Ontario One Call and they will look after calling all the utilities,” Ross said.
He said people can be held monetarily responsible for any damages if they do not call.
Ross added that many are unaware that not all gas lines are made out of metal. Residential gas lines are made out of plastic that can be cut relatively easily.
Anyone who does cut a line should leave the immediate area, and call 911 as well as Union Gas, Ross said.
Carrie Dudley-Tatsu, manager of plant damage prevention, said being proactive is the preferred approach.
“All it takes is someone’s time and planning,” she said. “Everything would be…
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