Colorado Public Works Journal, Fall/Winter 2019

12 • Colorado Public Works Journal MINUTES WITH TAYLOR NATION Taylor Nation is a Damage Prevention Agent with Colorado 811 What is the purpose behind people contact- ing 811? Damage prevention. You contact to get underground utilities located and make sure you are not going to hit anything, or cause any dam- age to their utilities or hurt yourself in any way. How many people do you think actually bother to do so when working on projects? Tons. I process around 100 tickets a day. We also have online services where contractors can do the process themselves on line. What percentage of professional excavators (anyone doing construction work) do so when working on commercial projects? 90% would be my guess of those that would call. What is the cost of the service? It’s a free service Is it the law to call? Yes, it is the law. What are the fines? There are penalties associ- ated with a fine. The penalties are civil penalties. You can be reported to the Safety Commission. Penalties can be as much as $75,000 Digging without causing damage is a small penalty, but causing damage with digging can be huge. What is the biggest challenge that 811 faces right now? A lot of the PE think that we are the ones locating and are angry with us if we don’t perform on time. There is a misconception that 811 are the ones that perform the utility markings when it is in fact the utility companies themselves. Did you know it takes less than 10 minutes for a Colorado 811 agent to inform you of all the utility services that are associated with the property you are working on? Did you know that they can issue instructions (a ticket) to those service providers to come out and mark where services are each located within 48 hours? In doing this you can save damage to property, damage to equipment, damage to service lines and even prevent the risk of personal injury. That said, why don’t we all just contact 811, no matter how big or small the project is? On a sunny afternoon at their offices in Golden, CPWJ sat down with Taylor for her to tell us about her role at 811.