Training - Indiana 811 Law
Training is an important part of ensuring every member of your team is prepared to work within the requirements of the Indiana 811 law. Below is information about mandatory training, as recommended under the Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee (UPPAC) penalty schedule and approved by the Commission, as well as several voluntary training opportunities for you and your team to consider.
For questions about any of the training opportunities or mandatory training listed below, click here.
- Mandatory Training
If you have received a letter saying that you must complete training following a violation to the Indiana 811 law, that means you must sign up for mandatory training. This is different than the voluntary training opportunities listed below.
Mandatory training is part of the penalty schedule as determined by the Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee (UPPAC). The guiding principle for the UPPAC’s penalty schedule is ensuring public safety and educating parties to encourage compliance, rather than being punitive.
Indiana Code § 8-1-26-23(h)(2) includes training as a possible penalty, instead of, or in conjunction with, a monetary fine, warning letter, or a corrective action plan. For more information about the UPPAC’s penalty schedule, click here.
For training arising from a damage caused before 2023, training must be completed no later than 180 days from the date of the Final Order. For training arising from a damage caused on or after January 1, 2023, training must be completed no later than 90 days from the date of the Final Order. After those deadlines, the training converts to a $5,000 penalty. To successfully meet the requirements of this training, you must pay the participant charge in full, attend a training provided by a Commission-approved trainer, and successfully pass the examination at the end of the training. The test is a multiple choice, 20-question exam.
Employees in attendance at the mandatory training must include at least one member of management or an employee who has a supervisory role; other employees may include safety officers, those responsible for calling in locates, scheduling work, or managing operations, or those involved in actual excavation. At least three employees must be trained unless the company has fewer than three total employees on staff. In that case, all employees must be trained. Additional employees are encouraged to attend training, but it is not required. Respondents who utilize agents or outside contractors are encouraged to have a member of those companies attend training, but it is also not required. For violations by homeowners and tenants, only the violator is required to attend the training.
Signing Up for Training
For training recommended by the Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee (UPPAC) before 2023, training costs $500 for the first three employees; $100 is added for each additional employee in attendance, up to $1,500, at which point additional employees may be trained at no additional cost. The contact information for the approved trainer can be found below. Contact Steve Baker to schedule your mandatory, instructor-led training.
For training recommended by the UPPAC after January 1, 2023, training costs $700 for the first five employees; $100 is added for each additional employee in attendance, up to $1,500, at which point additional employees may be trained at no additional cost. The contact information for the approved trainer can be found below. Contact Steve Baker to schedule your mandatory, instructor-led training.
Please consult your letter to determine which fee applies to your training.
- Voluntary Safe Dig Indiana Training
The Commission offers free, online safety training for professionals who work in excavation, including, but not limited to, landscapers, plumbers, concrete workers, and heavy construction workers. The free training courses can be accessed at www.SafeDigIndiana.com and are open to any individual wanting to learn more about how the Indiana 811 law and 811 system affects them. Please note: Safe Dig Indiana training is NOT a substitute for mandatory training given as a penalty by the Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee (UPPAC).
Training modules on SafeDigIndiana.com provide a learning opportunity about the requirements of the Indiana 811 law and best practices to successfully work a jobsite and ensure employees and communities remain safe.
Safe Dig Indiana | Local
The Commission also offers a grant for local government employees to attend training and education programs involving underground utility safety practices. The grants, which are funded by the Commission’s Underground Plant Protection Account (UPPA) fund, are intended to help ensure local governments can affordably provide quality training to their employees and, through education, facilitate engagement of local governments in broader regional and statewide underground facility safety networks. Eligible grantees include, but are not limited to, employees of local government entities, such as cities, towns, and counties, including representatives from municipally owned utilities.
More information about the Safe Dig Indiana | Local Grant, including requirements and a list of approved training and education programs, can be found at www.SafeDigIndiana.com.
NOTE: To receive a grant and before completing the online application, local government employees must first successfully complete the Commission’s online training courses on safe digging practices, also found at www.SafeDigIndiana.com.
- Annual Safety Days
To help raise awareness of safe digging practices among professional excavators and those connected to utility safety, the Commission hosts several underground utility Safety Days in March and April across the state. Safety Days are designed to educate participants on the Indiana 811 law and includes both classroom-style segments and a live, mock gas line-strike demonstration with emergency response to show the dangers of a gas line damage.
The Safety Days are aimed at those involved in utility safety, including excavators, utility employees, locators, and emergency response professionals. Funds used to host the Safety Days are allocated from the Underground Plant Protection Account (UPPA), which itself is funded through the penalties assessed to excavators and gas line operators who violate Indiana’s Indiana 811 law.
Note, Safety Day events do not satisfy training penalties that are issued in Indiana 811 Law cases.
Safety Days are being planned for a return in Spring 2023
- Other Voluntary Training
In addition to the voluntary training opportunities listed above (both Safe Dig Indiana and the Safety Days in spring), you can always sign up for training with a number of approved training sessions on the Indiana 811 law.
Contact UPPA Fund Manager Darby Miller for more information on how to connect with the organizations offering these opportunities.
- Additional Information
To report a damage to an underground facility, learn more about locate tickets, and find the cases to be heard at the next Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee (UPPAC) meeting, click here. Frequently Asked Questions regarding damages to underground facilities can be found here
To learn more about the regulation of gas utilities, click on the Pipeline Safety Division’s main webpage here.
The UPPA fund is an accumulation of civil penalties (fines) that were levied and collected due to violations of Indiana’s Indiana 811 law. Learn more here.