excavator truck digging with back hoe on construction site

Excavator safety

Work safely around our natural gas utilities

orange safety cone illustrationYour safety is important to us

We work hard to deliver safe, reliable natural gas service to our customers, and we want you to be safe while working near our above- or below-ground facilities. We construct, operate, maintain and inspect our natural gas system in accordance with state and federal pipeline safety regulations. If a potential problem is discovered, our crews respond and resolve the problem, following current industry standards and best practices.

Download Work safely around Minnesota Energy Resources utilities flyer
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Excavation rules to work safely near natural gas lines

Follow two simple rules to help avoid potentially dangerous situations and expensive mistakes:
(In addition to following proper excavating practices)

1. Call or “click” before you dig

call811.com safety is in your hands every dig every timeTo prevent a hazardous situation while digging, contact Gopher State One Call at 811 or 800-252-1166 at least two business days before you plan to dig.

Representatives will mark utility-owned underground facilities for free within two working days. Locate requests for emergency purposes will be expedited. We may not be the only pipeline operator in an area. To find out which pipeline operators have transmission facilities in an area, visit the National Pipeline Mapping System website.
National Pipeline Mapping System

2. Contact us immediately if contact occurs

Call us immediately at 800-889-4970 if you hit or damage any of our natural gas facilities. Even minor damage can cause major problems. Be sure to contact Minnesota Energy Resources immediately if you have any contact with underground lines.


Natural gas will not burn by itself. However, if mixed with the right amount of air, natural gas can ignite. Natural gas is nontoxic, but in an enclosed area, it may displace oxygen in the air, which can lead to suffocation.

Contact us immediately at 800-889-4970 are working near a pipeline and:

  • Smell strong odor of natural gas (similar to rotten eggs)
  • Hear hissing, whistling or roaring sound
  • See dirt or debris blowing into the air

Facilities safety

Learn what to do for the following facility safety situations.

Natural gas pipeline safety

Natural gas  its underground pipeline distribution system have outstanding safety records. Distribution systems are surveyed regularly, and problems rarely occur. To perform mandated pipeline safety inspections, we must have clear access to the pipeline right of way. Areas on either side of the pipeline must be kept clear of debris, trees, sheds and other structures.