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Utility Color Code (Print Section)

Locate Request Checklist (Print Section)

Introduction (Print Section)

 

 

 

Legal holidays do not count as a working day and are determined by Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 995

 

The contents of this manual are subject to change without notice.

When to File a Locate Request (Print Section)

Anytime the soil is disturbed in Wisconsin, Diggers Hotline needs to be given at least three business days advanced notice. This is mandated by Wisconsin Statute 182.0175, which can be referenced in the back of this manual. Each contractor working at an excavation site needs their own locate request.

 

Diggers Hotline may also be used by persons planning excavation to fulfill their legal obligations.

Contacting Diggers Hotline (Print Section)

By Phone: All types of locate requests are accepted by Diggers Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by calling the three-digit code 811 or by calling (800) 242-8511.

 

Online Portal: With the ProPortal and Portal Lite programs, you can submit all types locate requests, access member lists and search your old tickets. ProPortal users are able to map their jobsites on ticket requests. More information about the online portals are available at www.DiggersHotline.com.

Types of Locate Requests (Print Section)

Diggers Hotline accepts many types of locate requests. In general, locate request start times will be between business hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

 

EXCAVATION LOCATE REQUESTS

Excavation calls are the most common. There are several variations to the standard excavation call, each of which has an impact on the start date and time, and each of which can be used to solve unique situations or problems.

 

Standard: A locate request for a new excavation. The legal start date and time is at least three business days after the locate request has been processed. In general, one locate request will be required for each address or location where excavation will occur.

 

Emergency: An emergency locate request may be requested when excavation must begin prior to the standard three business days.

 

An emergency exists only when one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • The unforeseen excavation, which, if not performed, could result in the loss of life or limb.
  • The excavation is required to repair the outage of an existing service.
  • Excavation is required prior to three business days in order to prevent property damage.
  • An unstable condition exists which may result in any of the conditions listed above (for example, a leak in any service or main, or a fault in a primary or secondary wire and/or cable).
  • FOR FACILITY OWNERS ONLY: Immediate excavation is required by the facility owner to move, abandon, or cut off any facilities due to receiving less than three business days notice from a contractor.

When filing an emergency locate request, indicate that an emergency situation exists and be prepared to explain which of the above conditions is in effect. Diggers Hotline will prepare the ticket for immediate transmission and issue a start date equal to the time the excavation is scheduled to commence. However, all utilities must respond before you are legally cleared to dig.


Most Emergency Tickets show a start date and time one hour from the time the locate request is filed. Other Emergency Tickets show a start date and time that matches when the excavation is scheduled to begin. In both cases, the excavator is not cleared for excavation until all member utilities have responded. The start date and time listed on an Emergency Ticket is not when an excavator is clear to dig.


The one-hour period is the timeframe that member utilities have to respond to the request, either in person with marks or by phone, to indicate when the marking will occur. The facilities will be marked as soon as practical, generally within three hours if excavation must begin within four hours, or before the excavation is to begin if work is to begin after four hours. It is understood that circumstances may arise where a three-hour response time is not possible. The state law allows for 24 hours to respond to an emergency, but Diggers Hotline members have agreed to the quicker response time.

 

Stretch of Road: Utility or municipal work along a single road may be filed as a Stretch of Road Ticket. Utility main burial/replacement, shoulder grading and pole replacement are examples of work that may qualify for a Stretch of Road Ticket. Additional tickets will be required for installation of service laterals or if the project turns onto a different street.

 

Work sites two miles or less in length may be filed as a standard or planning ticket. Work sites more than two miles in length may be broken up into multiple tickets of two miles or less or filed as a Project Ticket.

 

A maximum radius of 100 feet will be allowed at each intersection. Any location request that exceeds 100 feet at intersections will require additional tickets. When using an intersection as a reference point for marking instructions, detail where specifically in the intersection the path will begin or end.

 

Appointment: In situations where excavation projects are large and complicated, an appointment call can make the filing of the locate request much easier.


 

A time will be set for the caller to meet with locators from the facility owner companies at the job site. If, for some reason, the appointment time cannot be met, the member utility will contact the caller to arrange a new time.

 

The caller has two options:


  • The caller may contact each facility owner after receiving a ticket number from Diggers Hotline.
  • The contact center representative can set up an appointment between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. three business days from the time of the call.

 

The start date in either case will be listed as six business days from the time of the call. Because the appointment will explain a large and complex project, members of Diggers Hotline require three business days from the time of the appointment in order to locate their facilities. The location of the meetings for all Appointment Tickets should be at the actual job site or very close to it.

 

Valid Appointment Tickets may be relocated with a Crew-On-Site relocate. See Relocates section.

 

If the area contains easily defined addresses or locations then each address/location should be filed as individual tickets, with the exception of tickets that qualify for Multiple Vertical Dig Site Tickets. Once roads and/or addresses are established on a large tract of land, such as a subdivision or industrial park, each address/lot will require an individual ticket.

 

Multiple Vertical Dig Site: Multiple vertical dig sites within one municipality can be filed as a Multiple Vertical Dig Site Ticket. Examples include tree planting projects, utility pole projects, sign posts and soil borings.

 

The ticket is filed as an appointment ticket, and the contractor is required to work closely with the locators on the ticket to ensure the locators have enough time to accurately mark facilities. Providing a project map or list of addresses is an example of working closely with the locators. A relocate of a Multiple Vertical Dig Site Ticket will be handled the same as a relocate of an Appointment Ticket.

 

Project: Large excavations which require frequent relocates can be covered by a Project Ticket, which has been updated from an older version of a ticket with the same name.

 

Project Tickets will now be filed as an Appointment Ticket. At the appointment, the excavator and locators will establish the parameters for ongoing locating of the project. Those parameters should be documented, signed and exchanged between all parties.

 

Excavators will then be able to contact the locators directly for any future relocates. Excavators can also contact the locators directly if anything has changed with the project that would impact those original parameters. If the agreed upon parameters are not being met by any of the locators, the excavator can contact Diggers Hotline for a relocate ticket. The crew-on-site relocate option would be allowed, as with all Appointment Tickets.

 

Earlier Start Dates: Diggers Hotline cannot issue an earlier start date for non-emergency excavation. Earlier start dates must be obtained directly from each of the facility owners after placing a locate request with Diggers Hotline.

 

The contact center representative will list the start date as the standard three business days and will also provide the phone number for the locators of each member utility. If approval is not received from all the Diggers Hotline members involved, the start date issued by Diggers Hotline will remain in effect, and excavation should not begin earlier.

 

NON-EXCAVATION LOCATE REQUESTS

With a planning locate request, actual excavation in the immediate future is not intended. Rather, a construction project is in the planning stage, and information on the location of existing facilities is being sought. The request must be project specific. Diggers Hotline representatives will process a planning call in much the same way they would an excavation call. A full description of the proposed job site is required. Member utilities will respond to a planning notice within 10 days after receipt of the notice.

 

Planning - Marks: Member utilities will respond with paint or flags at the project’s site.

 

Planning - Prints: A request is made for the member utilities to provide records to the caller.

 

Overhead Lines: Diggers Hotline also takes calls where excavation is not intended, but where aerial equipment will be used near overhead lines. OSHA requires that you stay at least 10 feet away from distribution lines and up to 16 feet away from transmission lines with excavators, back-hoes, wheel loaders, digger derricks used for auguring holes, and setting poles in telecommunications and electrical work, etc. Under the 2010 OSHA Crane Standard, if you use cranes, articulating cranes, truck-boom cranes, including service/mechanic trucks with a hoisting device, a 20 foot clearance must be maintained from power lines. Preventing encroachment within the 20 foot clearance requires that specific options be followed to ensure the safety of workers. Be sure to check the standard to see if your equipment is covered: CFR 29 Part 1926.1400 and contact the owner or operator of the overhead line(s) if necessary to ensure required working clearances are maintained.

 

RELOCATE REQUESTS

Additionally, callers can ask for a Relocate Ticket to refresh marks at a jobsite.

 

Crew-on-Site Relocate: If a valid ticket needs to be re-marked and the crew is at the work site or en route, the caller will be issued a crew on-site relocate. On such tickets, member utilities should respond to the excavator within one hour to let them know when the site will be relocated. Full details about crew-on-site relocates are in the Ticket Lifespan/Relocates section later in this guide.

 

24-Hour Relocate: If a valid ticket needs to be re-marked, but a crew is not at the worksite, the caller will receive a new start date and time that is generally 24 hours from the current date and time, excluding weekends and holidays. Full details about 24-hour relocates are in the Ticket Lifespan/Relocates section later in this guide.

 

3-Day Relocate: If work has not started within 10 calendar days after the legal start date or work has been interrupted for more than 10 calendar days, the excavator should call Diggers Hotline and a 3-day Relocate Ticket will be issued with a new three working day start date.

 

No-Show Relocate: If there has been no response from a a utility or utilities, the excavator is on site or en route and it is within 10 calendar days of the start date and time of the ticket, the excavator may submit a No Show Relocate.

 

If the caller identifies that some members companies have responded, those responding companies may be removed from the list of utilities that receive the No Show Relocate.

 

Member utilities should respond to the excavator within one hour to let them know when the site will be located.

Preparing Locate Requests (Print Section)

Diggers Hotline representatives are professionally trained to obtain specific information concerning locate requests. Each question is asked either because it is required by state law or by the utilities to ensure adequate information is collected to provide a safe and accurate locate request.

  

CALLER

Phone Number: The telephone number of the caller is used as an ID number and is taken in case additional information is required at a later time and for use by those member utilities who call to confirm appointments or respond to an emergency excavation request. 

 

Caller’s Name/Company Name & Address: The caller’s name and company name are taken in order to maintain records of all locate requests.

 

Field Representative and Phone Number: If the person in charge of the work is different than the caller, a field contact is needed. Providing an accurate phone number that will reach someone in the field is important in the event that a utility locator needs to reach someone concerning the job.

 

Work Being Done For: The customer’s name or the general contractor’s name is sufficient.

 

DIG LOCATION

 

City/Place and County: Diggers Hotline recognizes cities, towns and villages in Wisconsin.

 

Address, Street, Side of Street: If this information cannot be provided by the user, Diggers Hotline will not be able to process the locate request. If a traditional street address is not available, acceptable substitutes include a fire number, a lot number or another specific description of the location of the work site.

 

Excavations must be filed as one address, one ticket. For example, the installation of 15 service laterals will result in the filing of 15 separate tickets.

 

Exceptions to the one address, one ticket requirement are:

  • Multiple Dig Sites Tickets
  • Stretch of Road / From-To Tickets 

See "Types of Locate Requests" earlier in this publication for more information on these ticket types.

 

Intersection #1, Distance and Direction from Intersection: Diggers Hotline is required by state law to obtain the nearest intersecting road, and the distance and direction from the nearest intersection to process a locate request.

 

Intersection #2: Although not required, a second intersection road close to the excavation site may be given.

  

DIG INFO

 

Type of Work: The more detail provided, the better. "Installation of a sanitary sewer lateral" is more helpful than "digging for a sewer line."

 

Explosives: Diggers Hotline asks whether explosives will be used in an effort to assist gas facility owners in complying with gas safety rules.

 

Overhead Lines: Diggers Hotline asks if the equipment being used extends to more than 14 feet above ground, and if so, if the equipment will be used within 25 feet of any overhead lines. If the answer to both questions is “yes”, the caller is advised OSHA requires that you stay at least 10 feet away from distribution lines, up to 16 feet away from transmission lines and 20 feet away from any lines with equipment covered under the 2010 OSHA Crane Standard. Contact the owner or operator of the overhead line(s) if necessary to ensure required working clearances are maintained. Please see page 6 for more information.

 

Boring Equipment: Due to the number of damages that occur with boring, facility owners need to be aware if boring will take place at the work site.

 

Start Date/Time: Diggers Hotline will ask when your work will begin. If that date is beyond three working days, you will be granted that start and time. Otherwise, you will be given a start date and time three working days in the future.


Wisconsin’s state law requires a minimum of three working days notification. Working days are defined in the law as any day other than Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays. Please see the list of holidays.

 

Starting excavation before the legal start date and time is prohibited by state law; beginning work early can result in forfeiture of the excavator’s rights and protection provided for under state statute 182.0175.

 

Diggers Hotline does not process locate requests where work will begin more than 30 calendar days from the current date.

 

Marking Instructions: After identifying the location of the job site, Diggers Hotline will identify what portion of the job site is to be marked out. If your excavation work exceeds your marking instructions, you must call for another locate request with the correct marking instructions.

 

It may be helpful to think in terms of Area, Radius/Perimeter or Path for marking instructions. Here are some tips on these types of marking instructions:

 

Area: Always clearly describe all four sides of the area to be marked. Locators should never have to make assumptions about the size of an area. If using distances, always include a specific starting point and the directions to proceed from that point.

 

Radius/Perimeter: Make sure the radius has a proper center point. Make sure the perimeter has a defined area.


 

Path: Use specific starting and ending points and a width when using a path, including road right of way. When using an intersection as a reference point for marking instructions, detail where specifically in the intersection the path will begin or end.

 

Remarks: Diggers Hotline contact center representatives will also record any additional information. A Project Ticket must be identified as such in the Remarks section.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

Diggers Hotline will not ask the following questions during a call, but it is sometimes helpful for the caller to provide some or all of this information

 

Cell Number, Best Time to Reach, Email: This information can be added to the ticket to allow locators a variety of ways to communicate with the caller. Diggers Hotline will ask for an email address on Emergency locate requests and Planning-Prints locate requests in order to have another avenue to communicate with the ticket requester.

 

TRSQ: The town/range/section/quarter section numbers of the excavation site may also be provided, but these numbers are not required.

 

Duration of Work: The response to this question helps locators schedule their workloads. 

 

Pre-Marked: Whenever possible identify the proposed work area with white paint, flags, or stakes. This will provide locators with an accurate understanding of the proposed excavation area.

 

Subdivision, Block Number, Lot Number, Job Number, Permit Number, Print Reference Number: These are all fields that may be used to help better identify the site of the proposed excavation.

 

After all the information is verified, Diggers Hotline will issue a ticket number. It is very important to keep this ticket number as future inquiries concerning the ticket will be expedited if the ticket number is available. Contact center representatives will also offer to list the member utilities that will receive the locate request.

Diggers Hotline Member Responsibilities and Locate Requests (Print Section)

As a locate request is completed, the ticket is processed and the data associated with the locate request is sent to affected utility members.

 

After receiving and screening the locate request, each Diggers Hotline member, or their locating contractor, will mark the location of their facilities in the field in a reasonable manner. Facilities will be marked according to the following color codes:

 

Red: Electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables

Yellow: Gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or gaseous materials

Orange: Communications, alarm or signal lines, cables or conduit

Blue: Water, irrigation, or slurry lines

Green: Sewers and drain lines


Pink: Temporary survey markings

White: Proposed excavation

 

Member utilities will use stakes, flags, paint, or other suitable materials in varying combinations dependent upon the type of surface to be marked. These marks will be in sufficient quantity to clearly identify the routes of the facility

 

Supplemental off-set markings may be added, when the surface over the underground facility is expected to be destroyed.

 

When an appointment is set up, either by Diggers Hotline or directly with members, locating representatives will meet the caller at the time and place agreed upon. If, the appointment time cannot be met, the member will contact the caller to arrange a new time.

Excavator Responsibilities after Making a Locate Request (Print Section)

Notifying Diggers Hotline is only the first step for the caller in fulfilling his or her responsibilities in the locating process.

 

After the markings have been made, excavators are required to maintain a minimum clearance of 18 inches between a marked and unexposed transmission facility and the cutting edge or point of any power-operated excavating or earth-moving equipment.

 

If excavation is required within 18 inches of any marking, the excavation should be performed very carefully with hand tools. See State Statutes 182.0175(2)(as).

 

If the underground transmission facility is exposed, the excavator may reduce the clearance to two times the known limit of control of the cutting edge or point of the equipment or 12 inches, whichever is greater.

 

If marks are destroyed or covered by excavation site activities, weather, or any other means, the excavator must provide a relocate notice to Diggers Hotline. If work does not start within 10 calendar days of the scheduled start date, or the work is interrupted for more than 10 calendar days, the excavator must provide a three working day locate notice to Diggers Hotline. See State Statute 182.0175(2)(am)(4) and Relocates earlier in this guide.

 

If, during the course of excavation, a facility has been exposed, it is the excavator’s responsibility to inspect and support these facilities prior to backfilling in order to ascertain if the facilities have been struck or damaged in any capacity. If damage of any kind is discovered or any suspicion of damage exists, it is the excavator’s responsibility to immediately notify the facility owner directly. The excavator must refrain from backfilling an excavation until an inspection is conducted and any necessary repairs have been made by the owner of the transmission facility. Diggers Hotline will provide the contact number of facility owners, upon request.

 

When one member utility indicates there are no facilities in conflict at a job site, it does not mean other facilities are not at the location.

 

Also be aware of facilities on or near your work site that might be privately owned, including propane. Homeowners and private businesses can own facilities on property that is owned by them. These facility owners are not required to be members of Diggers Hotline. It is the excavator’s duty to notify the owners of private facilities of their intent to dig.

 

A list of private locating companies is available at https://www.diggershotline.com/locators.

 

Also, excavators are encouraged to have a copy of the locate request at the work site and to keep a copy of the ticket until well after the project has been completed.

 

Excavators shall remove marking flags when their project is complete.

Ticket Lifespan/Relocates (Print Section)

TICKET LIFESPAN

According to state law, an excavator shall provide a repeat notice if marks are destroyed or covered by excavation activities, if excavation does not start within 10 days of the scheduled start date or if excavation is interrupted for more than 10 days. Excavation shall include actual digging as well as preparatory work at the job site.

 

Diggers Hotline offers relocate tickets to get refreshed marks at an active job site without waiting full three working days.

 

If the excavator is aware that a member utility has failed to mark a valid locate ticket, the excavator may file a No Show Relocate. If the caller identifies that some members companies have responded, those responding companies may be removed from the list of utilities that receive the No Show Relocate. Member utilities should respond to the excavator within one hour to let them know when the site will be located.

 

Relocates (Valid Ticket): A valid ticket is one for which work begins within 10 calendar days after the legal start date and work is not interrupted for more than 10 calendar days.

 

If a valid ticket needs to have marks refreshed, but a crew is not at the worksite, the caller will receive a new start date and time that is generally 24 hours from the current date and time, excluding weekends and holidays. This ticket is known as a 24-hour relocate. The member utility will respond as soon as possible within the 24-hour period.

 

If a valid ticket needs to be relocated and the crew is at the work site or en route, the caller will be issued a crew-on-site relocate. On such tickets, Diggers Hotline members should respond to the excavator within one hour to let them know when the site will be relocated. Even though the caller will receive a start date and time that is one hour from the current date and time, the ticket does not become valid until the member utilities contact and/or relocate the site. The facilities will be marked as soon as practical, generally within three hours if excavation must begin within four hours, or before the excavation is to begin if work is to begin after four hours.

 

Re-Marking (Invalid Ticket): If work has not started within 10 calendar days after the legal start date or work has been interrupted for more than 10 calendar days, the excavator should call Diggers Hotline and a 3-day relocate ticket will be issued with a new three working day start date.

 

Appointment Tickets: Valid appointment tickets may be relocated with a Crew-On-Site relocate.

 

Planning Tickets: If a relocate is requested on a planning ticket, member utilities will respond within 10 calendar days after the request is received.

 

Callers shall not be granted a crew on-site or 24-hour relocate if the relocate is filed after February 1 for a ticket that has not been filed or relocated since before November 1 of the prior year. Callers will still be granted 3 working day tickets for those situations.

Reporting Problems (Print Section)

Depth of Facilities: Diggers Hotline does not have information on the specific location or depth of buried facilities. Although facility owners may follow depth guidelines when installing lines, they have no control over depth variation caused by human intervention, weather, or other circumstances.

 

Correcting Errors: If, at any time, it is discovered that incorrect information was provided to Diggers Hotline, callers should notify Diggers Hotline as soon as possible. Contact center representatives will correct the problem by filing a new ticket. A new start date will be issued.

 

Missing Marks:  If the ticket start date and time has arrived and a member utility has failed to mark the facilities, the excavator may choose to contact that facility owner directly or to file a No Show Relocate. Diggers Hotline can provide the appropriate phone numbers to contact the member utilities if needed.
 

Enforcement:  Diggers Hotline accepts complaints of violations to State Statute 182.0175 regarding natural gas or other hazardous materials facilities. Complaints may be filed online at https://www.diggershotline.com/enforcement.

 

Voluntary Positive Response: Positive response is communication to the excavator from the locators on the status of a locate request. Diggers Hotline will unveil a voluntary positive response program in 2019 and is encouraging all members to participate. Excavators will be able to see the response from participating members through the online portal program.

 


Legal Matters:
Records of locate requests are kept for at least six years. In the event the contractor is involved in a court case, Diggers Hotline can be of assistance by providing copies of these records. There may be a fee involved in record retrieval.

 

 

Compliance Review and Improvement Plan (Print Section)

Introduction

The Diggers Hotline Advisory Board has created the Compliance Review and Improvement Program to address non-compliant situations with excavators or member facility owners.  This program promotes responsible review of patterns of non-compliance, and stresses communication between stakeholders, with final oversight by the Diggers Hotline Board of Directors.  If corrective action(s) is required, voluntary improvement will be encouraged, but other actions can be imposed if necessary.

The Compliance Review and Improvement Program is intended to address patterns of non-compliance.  It is not meant to target isolated incidences of non-compliance.

Non-compliance includes, but is not limited to, not adhering to Wisconsin Statute 182.0175, policies of the Excavators Guide, Membership Agreement, the Field Manual, or other ticket guidance offered by Diggers Hotline. Non-compliance includes, but is not limited to the following examples:

For Excavators

  • Using Crew on Site or 24 hour relocates when the ticket is not “valid”, the crew is not on site or en route as required for a Crew-on-Site, filing on a schedule rather than as necessary, or not verifying that marks are actually missing or destroyed
  • Filing non-excavation planning-based work as Standard tickets and not as Planning tickets.
  • Using Emergency tickets when a valid emergency situation is not present.
  • On Multiple Dig Site tickets, not working with locators to allow enough time for markings throughout the area.
  • Tickets larger than allowed scope such as Stretch of Road or multiple addresses on one ticket.
  • Not providing accurate and adequate field contacts on a ticket.
  • Using the Diggers Hotline online portals to violate ticket policies.

 

For Member Facility Owners

  • Allowing ticket screening software to incorrectly screen out tickets, resulting in tickets not being located as required.
  • Not locating or responding in the case of tickets that allow for a response such as Emergencies, Crew on Site Relocates, or No-Show Relocates, by the legal start date and time.
  • Not providing prints by the legal start date and time when a Planning-Prints ticket is requested.
  • Not maintaining up-to-date, accurate contacts with Diggers Hotline, such as After and During Business Hours contacts, administrative contacts, and billing contacts.
  • Not maintaining up-to-date, accurate member service areas in the Diggers Hotline system.

Compliance Review Process

The Advisory Board will review non-compliance reports which do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Enforcement for Natural Gas and Other Hazardous Materials Subsection of Wisconsin Statute 182.0175.  Examples of items which do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Enforcement Subsection include, but are not limited to:

  • Ticket types created by Diggers Hotline.
  • Non-compliance concerns related to facility types transporting non-hazardous materials.
  • Investigation of non-compliance involves, but is not limited to:
  • The review of various Diggers Hotline ticket reports
  • Testimony from involved parties
  • Photographs
  • Video

If the Advisory Board determines the non-compliance is worthy of further investigation, the Advisory Board will appoint a representative to contact the company to discuss the non-compliant situation.  Documentation of the discussions and actions will be provided to the parties throughout the process.  If the Advisory Board is satisfied by these initial discussions and the company agrees to become compliant, no further action will be taken. The Advisory Board will send a certified letter summarizing the discussion and stating no further action will be taken.


If the Advisory Board representative believes further follow-up is necessary, the non-compliant company will receive a certified letter scheduling a meeting with the members of the Advisory Board.  If the Advisory Board is satisfied with the company’s responses, the Advisory Board will send a certified letter summarizing the discussion and stating no further action will be taken. If the Advisory Board is not satisfied, the company will be provided an improvement plan which clearly defines what needs to be improved and the actions that must be taken to achieve that improvement. The non-compliant company will have 30 days to become compliant.

If the company improves, a written confirmation letter will be sent summarizing the need for no further action. The Advisory Board will continue to monitor performance at their discretion to ensure continued compliance. If the company does not implement the improvement plan or again falls into non-compliance, the Advisory Board can either repeat steps above or proceed to the next step.


If the company does not improve the Advisory Board can recommend a corrective action(s) to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will decide if the corrective action(s) will be implemented or request the Advisory Board to take additional measures.
Improvement Plan

If the Advisory Board has a meeting with a non-compliant company, and is not satisfied with the company’s responses, the Advisory Board will develop an improvement plan for the non-compliant company. To avoid any corrective actions, the non-compliant company must implement the improvement plan.

The improvement plan is a document that clearly defines the actions the company must take to achieve compliance. The improvement plan will also inform the company of the corrective action(s) the Advisory Board will recommend to the Board of Directors if the non-compliant company refuses to implement the improvement plan.

Corrective Actions

Corrective actions are recommended by the Advisory Board and approved by the Board of Directors. With a simple majority vote, the Advisory Board can recommend a corrective action(s) to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will have up to 30 days to respond to the recommended corrective action(s) at an upcoming board meeting or via conference call. The Board of Directors will discuss the situation and either vote on the corrective action(s), request additional information, or require the Advisory Board to take additional measures. If corrective action(s) is approved by the Board of Directors, a certified letter will be sent to the company outlining what has occurred throughout the entire process and the corrective action(s) that will be implemented.
Corrective actions can include, but are not limited to:

  • Suspending the usage of ticket types created by Diggers Hotline and not found in Wisconsin Statute 182.0175.
  • Suspending access to the Diggers Hotline ProPortal.
  • Suspension of membership on the Advisory Board.
  • Issuance of a non-compliance monetary surcharge increasing the member per-notice fee.

Corrective actions will be until a point in time when the company is willing to implement the improvement plan.

Glossary of Terms

Non-Compliance/Not Compliant
    Includes, but is not limited to, not adhering to Wisconsin Statute 182.0175, policies of the Excavators Guide, Membership Agreement, the Field Manual, or other ticket guidance offered by Diggers Hotline.

Company
    An excavator or member facility owner.

Corrective Action
    An implemented procedure to eliminate the cause of a detected non-compliant or other undesirable situation.

Improvement Plan
    A plan that is established by the Advisory Board after meeting with the non-compliant company.  The Improvement Plan defines the steps a company needs to take to achieve compliance.

Stakeholder
    An organization directly involved in the damage prevention industry.  Some examples of Stakeholders are:  Diggers Hotline, member facility owners, government (municipal, county, and state), excavators, planning and design engineers, surveyors, and contract locators.

Advisory Board
    An industry stakeholder panel appointed by the Diggers Hotline Board of Directors with the purpose of bringing industry diversity to the decision-making process for Diggers Hotline.
    The Advisory Board is comprised of not fewer than 9, nor more than 15 stakeholders.

Board of Directors
    The governing body of Diggers Hotline.  Individuals who sit on the Board are responsible for overseeing the organization’s activities.  Governance is high-level:  strategy, oversight, and accountability.
    The Diggers Hotline Board of Directors is made up of 9 elected representatives from the member facility owners.  The Board of Directors have 4 elected officer positions:  Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.  The Board of Directors and officer positions are 3-year terms and voted upon by the entire membership of Diggers Hotline.

Facility Owner
    A public or private entity which owns or maintains “Transmission Facilities.”
Transmission Facilities
    Defined by  Wisconsin Statute 182.0175(1)(c) including “all pipes, pipelines, wires, cables, ducts, wirelines and associated facilities, whether underground or aboveground, regardless of the nature of their transmittants or of their in-service application. The term includes, but is not restricted to, utility facilities, government-owned facilities, facilities transporting hazardous materials, communications and data facilities, drainage and water facilities and sewer systems.  The term does not include culverts.”

Member Facility Owner
    Facility Owner which has joined Diggers Hotline.  Member Facility Owners receive Tickets/Locate Requests from Diggers Hotline when excavators identify they are excavating within an area where member facilities may exist.  Member Facility Owners pay Diggers Hotline a Per-Notice Fee for receiving Tickets/Locate Requests.

Per-Notice Fee
    A fee the Member Facility Owner pays for each Ticket/Locate request received from Diggers Hotline identifying intended excavation to occur in an area where their facilities may reside.
Wisconsin Statute 182.0175 allows Diggers Hotline to assess this Per-Notice Fee and to cease a Facility Owner’s membership in Diggers Hotline if a Per-Notice Fee is more than 90 days past due.  Facility Owner membership may be reinstated upon payment of the amount past due.

Excavator
    Defined by Wisconsin Statute 182.0175(1)(bm) as “a person who engages in excavation.”

Excavation
    Defined by  Wisconsin Statute 182.0175(1)(b) as, “any operation in which earth, rock or other material in or on the ground is moved, removed or otherwise displaced by means of any tools, equipment or explosives and includes grading, trenching, digging, ditching, drilling, augering, tunneling, scraping, cable or pipe plowing and driving and means any operation by which a structure or mass of material is wrecked, razed, rended, moved or removed.”
Excavators are required by  Wisconsin Statute 182.0175 to provide advance notice of their intent to excavate to Diggers Hotline.

Locator
    An individual who conducts field markings of the area described in the Ticket/Locate Request.  A locator is an employee of the Member Facility Owner.

Contract Locator
    An individual who is employed by a company which a Member Facility Owner hires to conduct field markings of their facilities at the area described in the Ticket/Locate Request.

Enforcement Panel
    A panel appointed by Diggers Hotline that carries out the duties specified in Wisconsin Statute 182.0175(3)(bg) and Wisconsin Statute 182.0175(3)(br). The panel consists of 2 transmission facility owners, 2 excavators, 1 employee of Diggers Hotline, 1 person who represents the interest of a political subdivision, and 1 person employed as an underground line locator.

ProPortal
    A free online resource for professional excavators or planning designers to file Tickets/Locate Requests.  The ProPortal allows the user to file all ticket types, map their excavation location, relocate tickets, search for their previous tickets, and view positive response information for their tickets.
The ProPortal requires users to watch a training video and pass a general knowledge test before access is granted by Diggers Hotline.  Diggers Hotline personnel review all tickets submitted by new users.  The ProPortal program requires the user to complete 30, consecutive, error-free tickets before mandatory review of all tickets is no longer necessary.

Ticket/Locate Request
    Wisconsin Statute 182.0175 requires all excavators to provide information about their excavation project to Diggers Hotline prior to excavation occurring.  The information provided by the excavator to Diggers Hotline is organized and then transmitted to Diggers Hotline member companies.  The compiled excavation information is called a Ticket, or Locate Request.
Excavators are provided a Ticket Number, which is a unique number composed of the year, the week of the year, and a sequential number for that week.  The Ticket Number is the excavator’s legal proof they have contacted Diggers Hotline, and can be used to search for that ticket data for up to 6 years.
Excavators can also receive an emailed copy of their Ticket/Locate Request if they choose.

Start Date & Time
    The Start Date & Time is the day and time an excavator is legally allowed to begin excavating.  Start Dates & Time will vary based on the type of ticket being filed.  Non-emergency initial tickets (Standard Tickets) have a minimum Start Date & Time of 3 working days and a maximum of 30 calendar days from the day and time the excavator files the ticket with Diggers Hotline.
Emergencies, relocates, and appointments can all have different Start Dates & Times as either established by State Statute or Diggers Hotline policy.

Working Days/Hours
    Working Days are any day other than Saturday, Sunday, or legal holidays (as defined by Wisconsin State Statute.)  Working hours are 6am to 6pm within Working Days.

Planning Tickets
    Planning Tickets are non-excavation tickets typically filed by engineers or surveyors when a project is still in the design stage.
The statute allows a Planning Ticket a minimum Start Date & Time of 10 calendar days from the current day and time.  Statute also allows the designer (person filing the ticket) to request a field locate, exchange prints with the facility owners, or both responses.

Valid Ticket
    A Ticket is considered “Valid” by Diggers Hotline if the excavator’s work began within 10 calendar days of the Ticket’s Start Date & Time and excavation work has not stopped for more than 10 calendar days at any point.

Ticket Types Created by Diggers Hotline

Crew on Site Relocate
The Crew on Site relocate was created by Diggers Hotline to assist excavators in getting a quick-response locate request when marks are destroyed due to construction activity or weather and the excavation company is waiting on site to continue excavating.
To qualify for a Crew on Site relocate, the excavator must have a Valid Ticket, and have a crew either on site or en route to the worksite.
The Crew On Site relocate will set the Start Date & Time a minimum of 1 hour from the current date and time (within normal Working Days/Hours) and a maximum of 24 hours from the current date and time.
The 1 hour Start Date & Time is the time member facility owner have to respond to this ticket.  Member facility owner response can be either the conducting of the field locate or contacting the excavator directly to let them know when the locate will be performed.  If locating cannot be done within the 1 hour Start Date & Time, member facility owners have to locate as soon as practical, generally within 3-4 hours.

24 Hour Relocate
The 24 Hour Relocate was created by Diggers Hotline to assist excavators in getting a quick-response locate request when marks are missing or destroyed due to construction activity or weather.  The 24 Hour Relocate is used instead of a Crew on Site Relocate when the excavator does not need an immediate (1 hour) response or the excavator’s crew is not on site.
To qualify for a 24 Hour Relocate, the excavator must have a Valid Ticket.
The 24 Hour relocate will set the Start Date & Time a minimum of 24 hours from the current date and time (within normal Working Days/Hours) and a maximum of 72 hours from the current date and time.
Member facility owners must locate their facilities by the Start Date & Time.

No-Show Relocate
The No-Show Relocate was created by Diggers Hotline to address situations where member facility owner locators do not mark their facilities or respond to the Planning Ticket by the legal Start Date & Time.
To qualify for a No-Show Relocate, the excavator must have a Valid Ticket, and have a crew either on site or en route to the worksite.
The No-Show Relocate will set the Start Date & Time a minimum of 1 hour from the current date and time (within normal Working Days/Hours) and a maximum of 24 hours from the current date and time.
The 1 hour Start Date & Time is the time a member facility owner has to respond to this ticket.  A member facility owner response can be either the conducting of the field locate (or providing Prints as requested for the Planning Ticket) or contacting the excavator directly to let them know when the locate will be performed.  If locating cannot be done within the 1 hour Start Date & Time, member facility owners have to locate as soon as practical, generally within 3-4 hours.
The No-Show Relocate also requires the excavator to identify which member facility owners have not responded to the original ticket.  Member facility owners who have responded properly to the original Ticket/Locate Request will be suppressed from the No-Show Relocate and will not receive a copy of the Ticket.  Member facility owners identified by the excavator as having not located by the Start Date & Time will be sent the No-Show Relocate ticket by Diggers Hotline.

Appointment Ticket
The Appointment Ticket was created by Diggers Hotline to allow excavators to meet with locators to explain complex projects prior to locating occurring.
The Appointment Ticket will establish an Appointment Date & Time which will be a minimum of 3 working days from the current date and time.  The Appointment Time can only be between 9am and 3pm on a working day.
The Start Date & Time will then be a minimum of 3 working days from the Appointment Date & Time, resulting in an overall minimum of 6 working days from the day and time the Appointment Ticket is filed with Diggers Hotline.
Appointment Tickets are allowed to use Crew on Site and No-Show Relocates as long as the requirements for those tickets are met by the excavator.

Project Ticket
The Project Ticket was created by Diggers Hotline to assist excavators and locators with large, ongoing excavation projects such as road construction, main burial, or site development.
A Project Ticket is filed as an Appointment Ticket.  At the appointment, the excavator and locators will establish the parameters for ongoing locating (including the frequency of when relocating should occur) of the project.  Those parameters should be documented, contact information provided, signed and exchanged between all parties.
Excavators will then be able to contact the locators directly for any future relocates needed outside of the parameters agreed upon.  Excavators can also contact the locators directly if anything has changed with the project that would impact those original parameters.
If the agreed upon parameters are not being met by any of the locators, the excavator can contact Diggers Hotline for a relocate ticket.  The crew-on-site relocate option would be allowed, as with all Appointment Tickets.

Multiple Dig Site
The Multiple Dig Site ticket was created by Diggers Hotline to address unique ticket filing challenges posed by specific municipal-wide projects involving many vertical excavations.  Vertical excavation involves digging straight down without extending out in a specific direction.  Examples of vertical excavation projects which would qualify for the Multiple Dig Site ticket are:  municipal tree planting, utility pole installations, sign post install or replacement, and soil borings.  The Multiple Dig Site ticket allows excavators to file one ticket for an area where many vertical excavations may occur instead of filing many tickets.
Multiple Dig Site tickets can be no larger than a municipality and multiple tickets will be required for each municipality if the project extends to other communities.
The Multiple Dig Site ticket is filed as an Appointment Ticket, and the contractor is required to work closely with the locators on the ticket to ensure the locators have enough time to accurately mark facilities. Providing a project map or list of addresses is beneficial to assist locators with staying ahead of the work. A relocate of a Multiple Vertical Dig Site Ticket will be handled the same as a relocate of an Appointment Ticket.

Stretch of Road
The Stretch of Road ticket was created by Diggers Hotline to assist facility owner and municipal projects where certain types of work are occurring parallel to a single road.  Examples of the type of work allowed on a Stretch of Road ticket are:   utility main burial/replacement, shoulder grading, and utility pole installation/replacement.  Additional tickets will be required for installation of service laterals or if the project turns onto a different street.
Stretches of Road which are two miles or less can be filed as a Standard or Planning Ticket.  Work sites more than two miles in length may be broken up into separate Stretch of Road tickets of 2 miles or less, or filed as a Project Ticket.
A maximum radius of 100 feet will be allowed at each intersection. Any location request that exceeds 100 feet at intersections will require additional tickets.

Ticket Types Found in Wisconsin State Statute 182.0175

Standard
A Ticket/Locate Request filed for non-emergency work.  The default start date and time will be 3 working days from the current date and time.

Emergency
A Ticket/Locate Request which may be requested when excavation must begin prior to the standard 3 working days due to one of the following conditions being met:
•    The unforeseen excavation, which, if not performed, could result in the loss of life or limb.
•    The excavation is required to repair the outage of an existing service.
•    Excavation is required prior to three business days in order to prevent property damage.
•    An unstable condition exists which may result in any of the conditions listed above (for example, a leak in any service or main, or a fault in a primary or secondary wire and/or cable).
•    FOR FACILITY OWNERS ONLY: Immediate excavation is required by the facility owner to move, abandon, or cut off any facilities due to receiving less than three business days notice from a contractor.
An Emergency ticket will set the Start Date & Time a minimum of 1 hour from the current date and time.  Emergency ticket Start Dates & Times will be set any time of the day or night, and are not bound by Working Day or Working Time parameters.
The 1 hour Start Date & Time is the time member facility owners have to respond to this ticket.  Member facility owner responses can be either the conducting of the field locate or contacting the excavator directly to let them know when the locate will be performed.  If locating cannot be done within the 1 hour Start Date & Time, member facility owners have to locate as soon as practical, generally within 3-4 hours.

Relocate (3 Working Day)
If a Ticket/Locate Request is not “Valid” and locate markings are either missing or destroyed, the excavator can file a 3 working day Relocate.
The 3 Working Day Relocate will set the default Start Date & Time 3 working days from the current date and time.

Planning
A Ticket/Locate Request where actual excavation in the immediate future is not intended.  Rather, an excavation project is in the planning stage and information on the location of existing facilities is being sought.
Planning Tickets allow for the requesting of field markings, providing of records (prints), or both responses.
Planning tickets will have a default Start Date & Time of 10 calendar days from the current date and time.