Best Practices

Best Practices Guide

Definitive Guide for Damage Prevention & Safety

The origins of the CGA are deeply rooted in the Best Practices Guide, which was born out of the original Common Ground Study, the U.S. Department of Transportation report that established the stakeholder engagement model still used today. Since the CGA’s establishment in 2001, the Best Practices have been regarded and utilized as the preeminent and trusted resource for underground damage prevention.

The CGA Best Practices are agreed on by consensus of all 16 CGA stakeholder groups and designed to improve worker safety, protect vital underground infrastructure and ensure public safety during excavation activities conducted in the vicinity of existing underground facilities.

The CGA releases a new edition of Best Practices every spring with updates that reflect changes in damage prevention, especially those caused by the always-evolving technologies that are at the core of progress in the industry. 

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Best Practices FAQ

What are CGA’s Best Practices Guide?

CGA’s Best Practices is a book that features damage prevention best practices that have earned consensus support from all 16 stakeholder groups that comprise CGA. These practices cover all stakeholder groups and the entire process from one call center notification to locating to excavation. 

Each new edition of Best Practices is published annually in March and also available digitally. You may also order copies of Best Practice books through the CGA website.

How is a new Best Practice proposal considered for inclusion?

Each new proposed practice requires a seven-step process that begins by completing a BP proposal form. Each submitted proposal form is added to the next Best Practices Committee meeting agenda, where the committee must reach consensus on moving forward with the review process.

Each item that advances through this initial review is assigned a transaction record (TR) number and is investigated in more detail by a subcommittee, which will draft Best Practices language for full committee comment. TR’s that receive consensus approval from all stakeholder industries represented on the committee are then forwarded to the CGA Board of Directors for final approval.

Does a Best Practice need to be tested as a pilot program to be adopted by CGA?

CGA does not require a Best Practice proposal to have been tested as a pilot program; however, a Best Practice must be a practice that is already in place. If a pilot program associated with a new Best Practice proposal has occurred and results have been documented, the CGA Best Practices Committee would use that information to determine if a proposed practice is worthy of further review.

Is there a deadline for submitting a practice proposal?

CGA is always open to receiving practice proposals from members. CGA recommends members consult with the Best Practices Committee schedule to submit a proposal in advance of an upcoming meeting.

How can I learn more about CGA’s Best Practices Committee?

Click here to learn more about the Best Practices Committee.

Best Practices Resources

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