The old story (not a joke!) about the most likely fiber optic communications system failure being caused by "backhoe fade" reminds us that digging safely is vitally important. The risk is not just interrupting communications, but the life-threatening risk of digging up high voltage or gas lines.
FOA considers safety an integral part of all our programs, curriculum materials and technical materials. We start all our textbooks and their online versions with a section on safety in the first chapter, like this: Before we get started - Safety First!
There is a page on the FOA Guide on Safety procedures Including Eye Safety
And a YouTube lecture: FOA Lecture 2: Safety When Working With Fiber Optics
In our OSP Construction Section of the FOA Guide, these pages cover many safety issues including those related to the construction of the cable plant: Project Preparation And Guidelines, Underground Cable Construction, Underground Cable Installation and Aerial Cable Installation.
There is even a safety poster for the fiber activities: PDF Safety Rules For Fiber Optics
There is a website from the "Common Ground Alliance" that focuses directly on this issue.
Here is how they describe themselves:
Read the CGA Best Practices Guide here.
Here are all the CGA resources for damage prevention.
There is a new toll-free "call before you dig" number: Call 811
See www.call811.com for more information