Safety First when digging – Dial Before You Dig, QLD

Dial Before You Dig is a free referral service that puts farmers planning to excavate in contact with owners of underground pipes and cables that may run through and around rural properties.

It is essential to lodge an enquiry with Dial Before You Dig before any excavation work is undertaken to ensure the landowner or person planning to carry out the excavation is supplied with all the relevant plan information from the utilities identified as having pipes and cables in the enquiry area.

Minor excavation activities can cause major damages to these underground networks.

Farmers can lodge a free enquiry online at or by calling 1100 during business hours. You will receive plans providing details about underground assets including information on how to work safely around them.

Lodging a Dial Before You Dig enquiry is particularly important in rural areas and is the essential first step when excavating for works such as fencing, planting, constructing a dam or shed, or even when burying livestock.

Rural property owners must demonstrate a duty of care when working around utility assets.

  • Underground network information should be sought well in advance of excavation activities
  • If the scope of works changes or plan validity dates expire, you must submit a new Dial Before You Dig enquiry
  • Always perform an onsite inspection for the presence of assets. Unless advised otherwise by the Asset Owner, engage the services of a Dial Before You Dig Certified Locator. A Dial Before You Dig Certified Locator can:
    • Interpret plans
    • Identify and locate Dial Before You Dig Member assets
    • Where possible identify and locate any non-member or unrecorded assets existing on site (e.g. domestic gas /power lead-ins are generally not recorded on Dial Before You Dig utility plans even though the asset owner might be a Member)
    • Provide results / maps / information on located services to AS5488 specifications.
    • Provide locating assistance during potholing
  • You must excavate by hand when excavating or working close to underground networks
  • If damage to an underground asset occurs, you must advise the asset owner immediately.

Always ‘Dial Before You Dig’ and remember the 5 P’s of safe excavation – Plan – Prepare – Pothole – Protect and only then Proceed.

Plans provided by the Asset Owner Member only indicate the presence of infrastructure assets within the vicinity of the project site and DO NOT pinpoint the exact location.

Unfortunately, not all of Australia’s infrastructure asset owners are Members of Dial Before You Dig, and assumptions SHOULD NOT be made that the plans received represent the only infrastructure assets affected by the project worksite. Engaging the services of a Dial Before You Dig Certified Locator will go towards mitigating the risk of damaging buried pipes and cables.

Article kindly provided by Dial Before You Dig.

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