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Damage Prevention Download

A Weekly Feature on Industry Topics & Tools

DIRT: Data-informed strategies for targeting top damage root causes

  • 30 November 2023
  • Author: Sarah Daley
  • Number of views: 288

2022 DIRT Report: Addressing Top Damage Root Causes

According to CGA’s 2022 DIRT Report, more than 76% of damages are caused by six persistent root causes. To effectively address these, it’s crucial to identify proactive strategies to reduce damages and empower stakeholders to make strides toward our 50-in-5 damage reduction goal.

Consider these practical strategies to implement the 2022 DIRT Report’s data-driven recommendations into your organization:

  • Ensure your 811 campaigns address the most common reasons that excavators fail to contact 811 before digging. CGA’s new 811 tagline promotes a proactive commitment to safety focused on behavioral change, emphasizing the need to contact 811 for every project. We encourage you to implement the new 811 tagline, “SAFETY IS IN YOUR HANDS. EVERY DIG. EVERY TIME.” into your outreach and educational materials to reinforce Best Practices and improve consistent use of 811 among all stakeholder groups.
  • Examine your contracts with locators and excavators: Ensure you build in adequate time and incentives for third parties to adhere to safe digging Best Practices. Do your third-party installers have enough time and compensation built into their contracts to actually complete potholing for every dig? Do your locate contracts account for periods of high volume? CGA’s Next Practices Initiative has documented Southwest Gas’ implementation of best value contracts, which resulted in a 20% reduction in damages in just over two years. Next Practices has also created an “Elements of Effective Locating Contracts” document to provide guidance on structuring third-party locating contracts.
  • Invest in GIS-grade mapping and update maps frequently to make locating quicker and more accurate. Inaccurate and outdated maps pose a major issue for the industry and contribute to locator error and subsequent damages. Improved mapping technologies can streamline the entire 811 system and provide all stakeholders with a greater sense of confidence. 

Click here to read the full 2022 DIRT Report and its data-driven recommendations. If your organization has already implemented programs that effectively target top damage root causes, please share your strategies and successes with fellow CGA members on Engage.

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