When it comes to excavation projects, effectively communicating the exact location of the dig site is crucial for avoiding damage and ensuring safety. While providing the address is important, it’s equally essential to include specific descriptions within the site address, such as directions, distances, and references to accurately pinpoint the excavation area. This is where white lining plays a significant role.
What is white lining?
White lining is the practice of outlining the proposed area of excavation with either white paint or white flags prior to the arrival of the locator(s). It saves the facility locators time on-site and helps ensure that the entire area of excavation is located properly. Alabama 811 strongly encourages the process whenever possible.
Benefits of White lining
Decrease avoidable damages
White lining has been proven to decrease avoidable damages in all utilities, resulting in substantial cost savings.
By marking the excavation boundaries with white paint or flags, white lining enhances productivity, reduces wasted time and effort during the call-before-you-dig process, and improves worksite safety by increasing accuracy and allowing locators to focus on the designated work area.
Reduces wait times
White lining also guides locators to spend time locating underground utilities accurately. By clearly indicating the excavation area, less time is wasted on non-essential areas, enabling locators to focus on protecting the facilities that need attention during excavation. This ultimately enhances worksite safety and minimizes the risk of accidents.
Increased worksite satisfaction
In addition to these advantages, white lining offers several other benefits. It ensures worksites are located with greater accuracy, allowing work to commence on time with fewer delays. This, in turn, reduces overall payroll costs by eliminating the need for additional manpower due to inefficiencies. By eliminating guesswork or misinterpretation, white lining increases customer satisfaction and avoids misunderstandings.
A Contractor’s Perspective
“White paint can be an excellent communication tool between the excavator and utility locator. Both parties can benefit. From the excavator’s perspective, it can clearly communicate the exact areas needed and eliminate a large percentage of confusion an call-backs. From a locator’s perspective, white paint clearly communicates the needed area, and helps provide a potentially more accurate locate, as well as a potentially timelier locate, by eliminating excess areas not necessarily needed.”
–McKay Lyvers, Damage Prevention Education Manager-Alabama 811
White lining is a simple yet powerful practice that significantly improves excavation projects
By taking the time to mark the excavation area with white paint or flags, excavators enhance worksite safety, increase productivity, reduce damages, and streamline the one-call process. Embracing white lining as a best practice in excavation projects will not only protect underground utilities but also save time, money, and resources while ensuring worksite satisfaction.