Policy Information

Date Established:
Date Last Updated: 4/26/2012
Category: Environmental, Health and Safety
Responsible Office:
Environment, Health and Safety
Responsible Executive:
Associate Vice President for Facilities

Policy Contents

Printing Tip

Be sure to disable the "shrink to fit" feature on your Internet browser's print dialog box.

Utility Locating Policy


The University at Buffalo (UB) is a member of Dig Safety New York and fully endorses their program for all excavation work on UB property regardless of location. All work identified in the UB and Dig Safely New York section of this procedure shall be handled through the Dig Safely process. Although most utilities on the North and South campuses will be marked by UB Facilities personnel or its contractor, do not subvert this process by contacting marking personnel directly except in an emergency.

In many cases, UB is the excavator and utility locator for a job. It is possible that the same person may perform both tasks. Regardless, the integrity of the Dig Safely process must be maintained. Call Dig Safely New York prior to every mechanized dig.

This procedure does not contain any new rules. It provides guidance to ensure compliance with New York State Code Rule 753 (16 NYCCR 753).


This procedure applies to all personnel who perform excavation on any UB property including UB personnel responsible for utility marking coordination and actual field marking activities.


All Excavators (UB, Contractors and Others)

  • Pre -mark all digs with proper white markings.
  • Wait the required time before digging.
  • Verify positive response by all utilities. As of 5/31/2012, this is done through Automated Positive Response (APR).
  • Ensure that a competent person supervises each excavation.

UB Underground Facilities Coordinators (UBUFC)

  • Ensure coordination with utility marking personnel so that the dig ticket originator receives their APR in the required timeframe.
  • Promote the Dig Safely NY process.

UB Facilities Planning and Design (FP&D)

  • Provide liaison with Dig Safely NY program.
  • Ensure that the SUNY/Buffalo member profile is up to date.
  • Update utility drawings as necessary and provide marking personnel with the most up-to-date materials.

UB Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S)

  • EH&S will maintain and update this procedure and provide liaison and training (along with the Facilities Safety Officer) for campus and contractor personnel.

Stop Work Orders

Any excavation activities that do not comply with this procedure are subject to a stop work order by EH&S, FP&D project managers, or Facilities Supervisors who are charged with ensuring a safe workplace. Repeat violators of this process will be referred to the New York State Public Service Commission.


All personnel working on UB property shall be trained in emergency procedures as established by their employer. Contractors shall have pre-planned emergency evacuation areas for all worksites and all personnel shall be directed to check into this area in the event of an emergency. Personnel accountability is critical to emergency responders.

Contractor personnel shall call UB Police to report any of the following:

1. Emergencies such as accidents or natural disasters

2. Fires (in addition contract personnel should pull nearest fire alarm if possible)

3. Requests for emergency medical services

4. Police issues such as theft of property or damage to contractor equipment.

All personnel should program the University Police number into their cell phones to ensure prompt reporting of emergencies. Do not call 911 from North or South Campus. (Emergency calls from off campus locations such as the Downtown Campus, Anderson Gallery, or the Darwin Martin House may go to 911 first, but must be followed up with a call to the University Police.)

UB and Dig Safely New York Procedure

All excavations shall be coordinated using the procedures of Dig Safely New York. Complete a Location Request Information Sheet.

If you are not trained in the Dig Safely system, obtain an Excavator’s Manual from one of UB’s designated underground facilities coordinators.

Excavations include but are not limited to:

  • Demolition of structures
  • Cable or pipe plowing or driving
  • Setting poles
  • Driving survey pins
  • Installing sign poles
  • Ditching
  • Auguring
  • Moving earth
  • Drilling
  • Grading
  • Trenching
  • Scraping
  • Razing
  • Dredging
  • Tunneling
  • Wrecking

The general procedure for excavations is outlined on the inside back cover of the Excavator’s Manual and summarized here.

  • The excavator shall mark all proposed work areas with white paint, white flags or white stakes as appropriate per the Excavator’s Manual.
  • The excavator then fills out the Stake-Out Information Sheet and calls 811.
  • Within 2 days, the UB underground facilities coordinator will arrange to have UB owned facilities marked. Some underground services including natural gas and the petroleum pipeline on the North Campus will be marked by others.
  • The excavator will ensure that all necessary locates are completed by checking the Automated Positive Response system.
  • Work may begin on the date and time noted on the Stake-Out Request.
  •  Do not proceed with excavation unless these steps are followed and positive response is received.

Work Zone Safety

  • All personnel working on open roadways shall comply with the latest MUTCD (Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices) adopted by NYS DOT.
  • The University utilizes Work Zone Safety Cornell Local Roads Program as the standard for work zone safety.  

Document Management

EH&S intends to review and update this procedure annually

Document Revision History

Revision Section(s) Changed
Change(s) Made
1   Title changed to Utility Locating Policy Added APR link, QR Code. References to UB contract locators added. Phone numbers updated. 4/26/12
2 All Reformatted for web 1/2018

Contact Information

Department Phone
Dig Safely New York
Environment, Health and Safety 716-829-3301
Facilities Planning and Design 716-645-2612
Facilities Customer Service
University Police 716-645-2222