2022 DIRT Report

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Data-Driven Recommendations to Guide the Damage Prevention Industry

Collaboration, Reporting and Analysis:

  • Commit to unprecedented coordination and flexibility within organizations and across stakeholder groups to generate new solutions to systemic issues.
  • Participate in the Damage Prevention Institute’s accreditation and peer review processes; submit data and metrics to DIRT monthly to enhance value of insights.
  • Standardize data collection fields and processes across relevant stakeholder groups to enable greater portability of data for benchmarking.
  • Incentivize comprehensive damage and near-miss reporting across organizational departments; integrate reporting into operating workflows.
  • Socialize tools and guidance to identify root causes beyond catch-alls.
  • Develop damage prevention index/indices to better measure fluctuations in the rate of damage to buried facilities over time and gauge 50-in-5 progress.

Targeting the No-Notification Root Cause:

  • Focus 811 outreach to excavators on behavior change – particularly consistent and effective use of 811 – and tailor messages to professional vs. private property excavators, focusing on the types of contractors and digging activities driving the majority of no-notification damages.
  • Restore confidence in the 811 system: Consider out-of-the-box ideas for meeting locating demand while reducing unnecessary locate requests; invest in locating process efficiencies and technologies.

Targeting Excavation Root Causes:

  • Prioritize tolerance zone safety on the jobsite (pothole, maintain marks, use observers to help maintain clearance (see Best Practices 5-17 through 5-20)), in trainings, via technology investments (e.g., vacuum excavators) and through contract structures.
  • Facility owner/operators are the project owners for much of the work performed when failure to pothole/maintain clearance damages occur; they must address contract requirements and adequate compensation for potholing.
  • Provide excavators with access to additional information such as map visualizations of the jobsite through processes like Enhanced Positive Response (see Best Practice 3-31).

Targeting Locator Error Root Causes:

  • Prioritize sufficient resources to meet marking timelines, and consider innovative technologies and/or processes for leveling locating demand (see Best Practice 4-17).
  • Immediately begin enhancing facility maps to GIS-grade to enable accurate locating, and update maps with facility location information captured in the field.
  • Address contract structures between facility owner/operators and third-party locators to increase efficiencies in the process, enabling them to meet locating demand and reduce damages.
  • Provide timely, accurate positive responses to the 811 center.
  • Encourage effective use of the 811 system to reduce overall locator workloads, including through (electronic) white-lining, inputting the correct size/scope of tickets and ticket renewal practices.

Effective Enforcement of All Aspects of the Damage Prevention Process

  • Examine enforcement of all primary participants in the process to ensure penalties are effective and incentivize those involved to change their behavior. It is important to hold the asset owner, excavator and locator appropriately responsible in the adjudication process.

Damage Prevention in Your State

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CGA Toolkits

CGA has created a suite of toolkits designed to help members generate public awareness about the importance of damage prevention.

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