Tuesday, 8/11, is National 811 Day, a time when we want everyone to “know what’s below” before they start any digging project.

811 is the number to call before you start any project that will require digging. In Pennsylvania, you’re required to call three business days before you start a project. PPL Electric Utilities and other utilities will be notified and will come out to mark any of their lines in your designated work area.

According to data from the Common Ground Alliance, an underground utility line is unintentionally damaged by digging once every three minutes nationwide, and one-third of those incidents are caused when no call is made to 811. During 2014, a third of damages on the PPL Electric Utilities system caused by dig-ins were a result of someone not calling 811.

We’re making progress on spreading the word. In the first half of this year, we saw a 21 percent reduction in damage cases where 811 wasn’t called.

Part of our 811 publicity efforts this year will take us out to the ball game.

We partnered with underground utility location USIC, Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc., UGI Gas and UGI Energy Services to promote safe digging during minor league baseball games in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, Reading and Harrisburg areas. We’ll have 811 T-shirt giveaways, educational materials and more. Plus, you’ll see our messages the jumbo screens at the stadiums.

The first layer of defense and safety for all excavations is to know where all the underground utility lines are located. Hitting these lines can cause severe injury or death.

We care about you and the communities we serve. Safety is a big part of everything we do and we want you to feel the same way at work and at home.

Take care and KNOW WHAT’S BELOW.