DIRT Report

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Executive Summary

2022 Data: Consistent Challenges, Increased Reporting from Excavators

  • For the first time, excavation/construction was the top reporting source.
  • Telecommunications and natural gas remain the most damaged facilities.
  • Telecommunications work contributed to the most damages, followed by water/sewer work.
  • Electronic tickets made up 73% of notices to 811 centers across the U.S. and Canada.
  • A significant increase in the diversity and number of submitting stakeholders, as well as the quality of damage and near-miss data, would improve the value of DIRT insights.

Root Causes: Top Six Damage Drivers Cause Majority of All Damages

  • The top six root causes driving nearly 76% of all damages have been consistent year-over-year, which is an opportunity to focus our efforts and make measurable progress.
  • Failure to notify continues to be the most persistent singular root cause year-over-year, with 77% of no-call damages attributed to professional excavators in 2022. Landscaping/fencing, water/sewer and construction are the top types of work performed when professionals cause no-notification damages. 
  • Damages attributed to failure to pothole/maintain clearance most frequently involve utility work. This means that facility owner/operators have a tremendous opportunity to address this issue via the processes and procedures around these excavations.
  • Top root causes associated with locator error likely mask deeper issues like inaccurate maps, faulty tracer wire or abandoned facilities. Again, utility work dominates damages that occur due to locator error, giving facility owner/operators the opportunity to reduce associated incidents.

Late Locates: A Current and Emerging Crisis

  • An analysis of data from seven states revealed that as often as 56% of the time, an excavator cannot legally begin work on their planned start date.
  • Telecom and water/sewer operators are the largest contributors to instances in which excavators cannot legally begin work.
  • With an influx of additional excavation forthcoming because of state and federal infrastructure spending, it is imperative that we address the timeliness and accuracy of locating.

The Future of Damage Prevention: Monthly Reporting and Damage Indices

  • Monthly reporting and near-miss data submitted by Damage Prevention Institute (DPI) participants through DIRT will provide unprecedented insights, enable timely analysis and create shared accountability across stakeholder groups.
  • To augment future DIRT Reports and damage prevention efforts, CGA is sourcing additional data, models and experts to create a U.S. damage prevention index that more accurately gauges the rate of damages over time.

Damage Prevention in Your State

Explore damage prevention information, local contacts and rules for safe digging in North America.

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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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