In 1976, the JULIE System was accepted by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) as compliance with the notification center section of General Order 185. The Illinois General Assembly enacted the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act on January 1, 1991. Changes to the Act became effective in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2009. The law requires anyone excavating outside the city of Chicago to contact the Illinois Notification Center System, JULIE, before digging and requires owners and operators of underground utility facilities to be members of the notification center system.
The ICC has the power and jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the Act and may impose administrative penalties as provided in the Act.
When a penalty is warranted, the following criteria shall be used in determining the magnitude of the penalty:
Suspected violations may be reported to the ICC via the following methods:
Documentation is extremely important. The ICC enforcement process involves up to three steps:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific regulations when it comes to protecting utility installations before excavation and protecting employees from cave-in related hazards while working in trenches and excavations. The employer has several options when it comes to protecting employees, some of which are sloping, benching, shoring, and shielding. The specific OSHA standards can be found in 29 CFR 1926.650, .651, and .652. These standards and other useful information can be found on OSHA’s Web site.