The Sammy Shovel program helps create a safer Ohio by providing the next generation of responsible homeowners and excavators with an introduction to OHIO811 and the importance of the Call Before You Dig safety message.

This increasingly popular program can be presented as either, a fun and interactive Learning Management System module, or through high energy and engaging in-person assembly-type event.

Both programs are free of charge to any Ohio elementary school, are approximately 45 minutes in length, and include a learning packet with additional activities and games that can be completed in class or provided to students as take-home or independent learning resources.

For more information, please contact Caitlin Kacsandi at 800-311-3692 ext. 4725, or

Meet Sammy Shovel

The Newest member of the “Contact Before You Dig” team.

He’s here to tell you when you should contact OHIO811 and how OHIO811 works.

Why contact 811?

Knowing where buried lines are located helps protect you from serious personal injuries, interruptions in utility service to you or the entire neighborhood, high repair costs, hefty fines and environmental damage.

When should I contact OHIO811:

Every digging project requires you to contact OHIO811 including installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, planting trees or shrubbery, building a deck or patio, and digging out a new garden area.(These are just a few common examples of when to call. Do-it-yourselfers and contractors should contact OHIO811 at least 48 hours before any digging project.)

How does 811 work:

Follow these 4 easy steps below…

When making the free call to 811 or entering online, you’re connected to Ohio Utilities Protection Service.

We take your digging project details and contact information, and give you a reference number.

We notify utility companies that you will be digging.

The utilities send locators to locate and mark any underground utility lines that run through your yard with colored paint and flags. Dig carefully in this area. The colors tell you the utility type.

The colors tell you the utility type:

  • Red is electric
  • Orange is communication such as telephone, cable TV, and some alarms systems.
  • Yellow is gas
  • Green is sewer
  • Blue is drinkable water
  • Purple is irrigation water or non-drinkable water.
  • Pink is temporary survey markings
  • White is proposed excavating

It is very important to tell your kids not to play with the flags or move them.  They are there for your safety.

This Could Be Your School!!

Register your school today for a FREE Sammy Shovel presentation!

Contact Caitlin Kacsandi, Education and Awareness Coordinator, at 800-311-3692 ext 4725 or, and help Sammy Shovel create a safer Ohio, by teaching the next generation of excavators and homeowners the importance of “Contact Before You Dig”.

In April of 2018, Sammy and his friends visited Bascom Elementary School in Leavittsburg, Ohio. Principal Maggie Kowach said, “My favorite part of the program was seeing how engaged the students were playing the games to show off their new knowledge.”

“The music, dancers and Sammy Shovel really made an impact on the students as they were up and moving, clapping, laughing and having fun while learning important information,”  Kowach said.

Meet Sammy Shovel’s Gang

Learn more about them and why it is so important to protect them
by taking the number one precaution to prevent an accident
by contacting OHIO811 before you dig!

My name is Miss Bright Flame and I represent gas lines

My name is Miss Bright Flame and I represent gas lines. There are all sorts of different gas lines such as natural gas lines, oil lines, and steam lines. I supply heat for homes and gas and oil for vehicles. If my lines get hit while digging, I can result in major accidents, such as explosions and fires which can cause loss of life and terrible damage!

My name is Sparky the Electric Puppy and I represent electric lines

My name is Sparky the Electric Puppy and I represent electric lines. I supply electricity to homes and other buildings for heating, lighting, and powering appliances. If my lines get hit while digging, I can shock you. This can cause severe injury and possibly cause death!

My name is Mr. Drippy and I represent water lines

My name is Mr. Drippy and I represent water lines. I supply water to houses and other buildings through water lines. Water lines are located under the streets and sidewalks in every city. These lines provide fresh water for drinking, taking a shower and washing your dishes. If my lines get hit while digging, I can cause flooding outside and cause water to stop flowing to your house!

My name is Cyberina and I represent communication lines

My name is Cyberina and I represent communication lines. There are different types of communication lines such as alarm lines, signal lines, telephone lines. I allow sending or receiving information to houses, buildings or other structures for TV signals, computer signals, and telephone signals. If my lines get hit while digging, I can cause all telephones, TVs and computers to stop sending or receiving signals. This means no phone calls, no TV and no Internet signals. My communication lines can be very expensive to fix!

My name is Slimer the Smelly and I represent sewer lines

My name is Slimer the Smelly and I represent sewer lines. I sometimes get pretty stinky so it’s really important to keep me in my sewer lines.
I carry wastewater from your home and other buildings to wastewater treatment plants where I get cleaned up so I don’t stink so badly. If my lines get hit while digging, I can leak out and spill wastewater in your yard. It can get really smelly when this happens and really expensive to fix!

Help Sammy Shovel and his friends solve these games

Help Sammy Shovel find his way through the maze!

Start at the top and working his way out, finding all his friends along the way.

(Click on the maze to print and solve.)

Print off the Sammy Shovel activity sheet and hang it on the refrigerator and help your parents to remember to contact OHIO811 before they dig and keep the world safe!

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