PASA Introduces the Farm and Ranch Excavation Safety Guide

— Written By John Ivey and last updated by

PASA Introduces the Farm and Ranch Excavation Safety Guide
About two and a half years ago I sat in a diner in Cushing, OK, the pipeline crossroads of America, with a group of pipeline operators. We were lamenting the lack of success they were having communicating with the farmers on their pipeline ROW. They had been sending mailers, placing advertisements, attending farm shows, and their message just wasn’t being heard. A simple call to 811 before any kind of excavating on their land can help keep them, their land, and the pipelines safe.
Before we formed the Pipeline Ag Safety Alliance, we realized there was a disconnect, and a big part of the problem was the material we were providing to farmers and ranchers. Department of Transportation pipeline safety regulations require certain information be sent to everyone impacted by the presence of a pipeline. These regulations have led to a great deal of time being spent ensuring we are complying with regulations; entire departments staffed with talented people are hired, and inspectors make sure that the compliance box is checked. Unfortunately in the real world compliant does not always equal effective.
Recognizing the need for more effective communication with farmers and ranchers sent me down the road that eventually led us to where we are today. We are proud to have a tool that does a far better job speaking the farmer’s language. It clearly demonstrates how the process works once we call 811, what to do in case of a pipeline strike, best practices for safe excavation, and it spells out the one-call/excavation laws for each state. We also wanted to dispel common myths, provide interesting information about pipeline operations, and give the NACAA the chance to share more about extension services.
A copy of the Farm and Ranch Excavation Safety Guide has been sent to every NACAA member. We hope you find the guide useful and hope you will use it to help keep your clients safe. To request additional copies of the guide, simply email me some information about your event or use, along with a date and address, and PASA will provide them. We know the county ag agent is the most trusted resource for information about farming operations, so if the info comes from you, it has a far better chance of being heard and heeded.
April is National Safe Digging Month, so it’s the perfect time to spread the word!
PASA and the NACAA Co-Present at International Excavation Safety Conference

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) is a member-driven association committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. In March NACAA Vice President Alan Galloway joined PASA in presenting our story at the CGA’s Annual Meeting and international excavation safety conference.
Alan spoke eloquently about the past, present, and future of extension to the CGA’s Education Committee. Committee members include pipeline operators, public awareness professionals, DOT and state regulators, and 811 center directors. “My experience as a first-time presenter at the CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo was very enlightening. The enthusiasm shown by those working in education and marketing was impressive. Their questions and comments showed their sincere interest in improving contact with the farmers and ranchers across the country to help prevent accidents. The variety of programs already underway to publicize 811/call before you dig were very innovative and far-reaching. It is one thing to be aware of 811 and now I have a better appreciation of the depth of the programs in use to educate the public, businesses and farmers. Hopefully, I was able to share the NACCA’s sincere desire to help spread the “call 811″ message to our audiences and clientele.”
With over 70 presentations given by experts from as far away as Australia and the UK (not the University of Kentucky J) our session was voted in the top 10 by the attendees. We are very fortunate to have Alan and the NACAA as partners in our efforts. Know what’s below: Call or click before you dig 
Enbridge has recently worked with farmers from Minnesota to produce an engaging and educational video about the dangers of unsafe digging. John and Rick Proulx give their testimonial about a day on their farm that started like any other. While removing trees from a familiar area of land that they had worked numerous times before, John accidentally hit a buried crude oil pipeline owned by Enbridge. He and his son had not placed a call to 811 prior to excavation because they thought they had a good idea of where the pipeline was located.
Luckily nobody was injured, but the incident could have been fatal. John and Rick have learned from their mistake and decided to use their experience to teach others about the importance of calling 811. “You may think you know where the pipeline is, but a few feet can make a big difference,” says John. Enbridge will use the video as a promotional tool about safe digging to educate farmers in North America. The video can be seen on the Enbridge and PASA websites.

As always, if there is any way we can help support your efforts, provide further information, or any tools including copies of the Farm and Ranch Excavation Safety Guide, please do not hesitate to ask.


Chris Thome

Program Coordinator Pipeline Ag Safety Alliance P: 952-428-7968 C: 612-386-8858

PASA Website
Pipeline Info www.pipeline101.comCall Before You Dig Info www.call811.comExcavation Safety
National Pipeline Mapping System
Simply reply to this email with any questions or give us a call. We are always looking for feedback and are eager to help!
Field Tile Testimonial
811 Process
5 Steps to Safer Digging

Written By

Photo of John IveyJohn IveyExtension Agent, Agriculture - Crop Science (336) 641-2416 john_ivey@ncsu.eduGuilford County, North Carolina
Updated on Oct 25, 2016
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