2021 DIRT Report

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Root Cause Group Analysis – By Source, Excavator Type and Facility Damaged

A deeper understanding of the data emerges when the root cause groups are cross-tabulated with other DIRT fields.[1]  Significant differences in the root cause group percentages by event source are seen in Figure 12. Excavators, engineering and road builders have similar characteristics and concerns, and therefore are combined. If shown individually, their stacked bars would all look very similar with a greater emphasis on the Locating Practices root causes.  


[1] While root cause groups are used in this figure, individual root causes can be viewed by using additional filters on the online dashboard.

Figure 12

Figure 13 shows root cause groups by type of excavator involved (not necessarily indicating that excavators caused the damage). As is the case in most years, occupants and farmers have high percentages of no locate request, while for most other excavator types, locating and excavating practice-related issues dominate.

Figure 13

Figure 14 demonstrates the relationship between damaged facilities and root cause groups.

Figure 14

The Miscellaneous group is negligible in the context of the entire dataset, but as data is filtered down into smaller slices, it starts to come into focus.  This can be seen here for sewer and liquid pipelines. For both facility types, previous damage was the leading individual root cause specified within the Miscellaneous group.

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