Spring is finally here. With temperatures warming up again, I'm sure many of you are thinking about outdoor digging projects.

Before you start, remember to call Pennsylvania One Call at 811 or 1-800-242-1776 at least three business days before any digging, so underground utility lines - including any PPL Electric Utilities lines - can be marked.

April is National Safe Digging Month. Pennsylvania is made up of a complex underground structure of pipelines, wires and cables. Striking an underground utility line can cause harm to you or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood and potentially result in fines and repair costs.

If you work outdoors as part of your job, PPL Electric Utilities invites you to become an e-SMART worker. Check out our training tips, videos and case studies at www.pplelectric.com/safety. Each is designed to help you work safely around electrical lines. Workers can learn more about how and why you should call before digging. You can also learn about understanding locator marks, tolerance zones, hand digging, vacuum technology and trenchless technology.

So how does Pennsylvania One Call work?

- One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for Pennsylvania One Call to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.

- Call at least three business days before digging to ensure enough time for utility lines to be properly marked.

- When you call 811, a representative from Pennsylvania One Call will ask for the location and description of your digging project.

- Pennsylvania One Call will notify affected utility companies, who will send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines.

- Once lines have been properly marked, roll up those sleeves and carefully dig around the marked areas.

So please, call before you dig - whether it's a simple landscaping project like planting trees or shrubs, or more complicated jobs like building a deck. According to the Common Ground Alliance, an underground utility line is damaged every six minutes because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. Don't become a statistic. Make sure to call 811.

To learn more about working safely outdoors, as well as other electrical safety information, visit www.pplelectric.com/safety.

(Teri MacBride is regional affairs director for PPL Susquehanna Valley.)