What is the Dig Safe Board?
The California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board-- or Dig Safe Board-- was created by the Dig Safe Act of 2016 to investigate accidents, develop excavation safety standards and coordinate education and outreach programs. The board is made up of nine members appointed by the Governor and Legislature. Members are charged with overseeing the safety of excavations around buried utilities by coordinating the state's education and outreach efforts, investigating accidents to determine their causes, setting standards for safe excavation and ensuring the state's safe excavation laws are followed.
How the Dig Safe Board Came to Be
California Lawmakers voted to pass the Dig Safe Act of 2016 following two deadly underground pipeline explosions in California's Central Valley. The first incident happened in April 2015, near a Fresno shooting range. The second happened in November 2015, in Bakersfield's farm country. These aren't the only deadly Dig-in accidents to occur in California in recent memory. Below we have highlighted the four fatal Dig-in accidents that lead up to the passage of the Dig Safe Act.
2015 Bakersfield Pipeline Explosion
2015 Fresno Pipeline Explosion
2008 Paso Robles Dig-in Accident
2004 Walnut Creek Pipeline Explosion