2021 DIRT Report

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Invalid use of Request – Importance of understanding 811 Requirements

Figure 9

The Invalid Use of Request root cause group covers situations where a locate request was made, but something still went awry leading to a damage. The issue is obviously not a lack of awareness of the 811 system, or a choice not to use 811. Instead, this category highlights a lack of understanding of the entire spectrum of regulations and requirements governing the use of the 811, including advance notice requirements, wait time, expiration date, etc. This root cause may also reflect limited understanding of how an excavator’s actions impact the entire damage prevention system.

CGA’s Educational Programs Committee launched the development of a video series focusing on this very topic. The video series “Tips for Effective Use of 811” provides messaging on the important role of an excavator in maintaining an efficient damage prevention process. The video addresses key messages that contribute to the Invalid Use of Request root causes and encourages excavators utilizing the 811 locate request process to:

  • Be as specific as possible about the work site (use white-lining).
  • Limit the size of the request to area an area that will actually be excavated.
  • Limit requests to sites where work is reasonably expected to start before the ticket expires.
  • Don’t put in requests for “back-up” or “just-in-case” worksites.
  • Be aware of ticket expiration rules in your state and renew tickets as needed, but stop renewing tickets once the work is complete.
  • Provide good contact information and an accurate description of the work to be performed.

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