Safe Digging and Excavating

OHS Code States You Are Responsible

The Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code says you must call Utility Safety Partners to mark underground utilities in your work area.

Utility Safety Partners: 1-800-242-3447 or

You must call before you begin work

  • It is a free service (although for privately/secondary installed utilities, there may be a fee).
  • Markings are valid for 14 days.
  • Call at least two working days ahead.
  • Give more notice during long weekends and holidays.

You can face big costs for hitting a line

  • Seriously hurting yourself or another worker.
  • Causing a fatality.
  • Losing work time.
  • Paying expensive repair costs.
  • Causing a loss of natural gas service.Line Hit Penalties Flyer

After you call, DIG SAFELY

Natural gas markings are yellow

They show:
  • The direction the natural gas line runs.
  • The approximate location of the line.

They do not show:

  • The depth of the line – which can be just a few inches from the surface as soil is graded or erodes.
* Keep a one metre clearance *

Natural gas lines stand no chance against excavation equipment. They will be punctured easily.
  • Keep a one metre (three feet) safety clearance on either side of the outside of the locate marks.
  • This is the hand expose zone – absolutely no machines.
  • If you are excavating in this zone, you must use a shovel or hydrovac to carefully expose the natural gas line.
  • You must be able to see the line – to verify its location – before continuing the job
*When working around natural gas safety should always be your first priority

Take immediate action if you hit a gas line

You must call immediately, even if you do not smell gas or hear it escaping.

If you hit a gas line, call Yellowhead Gas’s emergency line 24 hours a day at 780-723-4214 or 1-800-723-4214, or 911

  Do not try to repair the line yourself!
  • Keep people away from the area.
  • Cordon off the site.
  • Do not attempt to pinch off the line or stop the flow of gas.
  • Shut of all equipment and vehicles.
  • Do not use cell phones in the area.
  • Put out any cigarettes or open flames.
  • Allow gas to vent into the air.

The two most important steps to remember:

  1. You must “Click Before You Dig” prior to beginning ground disturbance work.  Utility Safety Partners will notify a Yellowhead Gas Co-op representative who will come to your worksite and identify all natural gas lines in your work area. Contact: or 1-800-242-3447.
  2. Hand expose the natural gas line. You must carefully hand expose the natural gas line if you are disturbing the ground within one metre (three feet three inches) of the outside edges of the locate markings.

    Note: Hydrovacing is an acceptable method of hand exposing.