Monthly Update - August 2020


Join CGA for the Premiere Damage Prevention Industry Event of 2021

Sarah Magruder Lyle, CGA President and CEO

The biggest show on DIRT is coming March 2-5, 2021 to Orlando, Florida! Attendee registration is now open for the 2021 CGA Conference & Expo, a forum for damage prevention leaders to collaboratively discuss the industry’s most pressing challenges and truly Break New Ground in reducing damages to buried infrastructure.

The outcome-driven educational programming, technology demos and networking experiences are designed to highlight concrete actions the industry can implement to move the industry forward. Attendees will participate in cross-industry discussions, be inspired by thought-provoking speakers, deepen connections with fellow damage prevention leaders, and leave ready to implement meaningful practices, programs and technologies.

Stay tuned for updates on featured speakers, programming and more. If you are interested in exhibiting or sponsoring the CGA Conference & Expo, please contact us.

We look forward to seeing you in Orlando next March!

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Member Survey: Damage Prevention Process Still Effect During Pandemic

Sarah Magruder Lyle, CGA President and CEO

The CGA is pleased to share the results of the survey conducted in June regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the operations of the damage prevention industry. Of the members who responded, 75 percent reported that the process continues to be effective during the public health crisis. This is a true testament to the shared responsibility and dedication that damage prevention stakeholders have demonstrated throughout the spring and summer. The survey results also paint a picture of how the pandemic is likely to shape the future of damage prevention work. For example, 77 percent of members have already implemented virtual training, or plan to do so in the near future.

To see the results and discuss with members, visit the CGA Engage platform.  

News Brief

Shell Pipeline Supports National 811 Day and Safe Digging

National 811 Day is August 11, 2020, and serves as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. With more people at home during pandemic restrictions, and summer a peak time to work on home improvement projects, it is timelier than ever that residents remember to dig safely.

Every few minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first contacting 811. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, inconvenient outages and fines. With more people staying home and relying on their utilities to work and communicate, inconvenient outages are important to avoid.

Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants contacting 811 by phone or online. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are just some examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 before starting.

Contacting 811 before digging is the easiest way to avoid damaging buried utilities. When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to the local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators then arrive at the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

Visit for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

Louisiana 811 Welcomes New Manager of Damage Prevention

- By Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts, Inc.

After an extensive interview process, Louisiana 811 announced the hiring of Cole Vanderlick as their new Manager of Damage Prevention. Cole has a Petroleum Engineering degree from Louisiana State University and previously worked for Enertech where he was the manager of damage prevention and raised public awareness for their program in Louisiana. While speaking with Cole, it is apparent that he is passionate about damage prevention and is eager to begin this next chapter. The team at Louisiana 811 is looking forward to having him on board.

Oregon Utility Notification Center Finds Unique Ways to Promote Call 811 Message

- By Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts, Inc.

The Portland Rose Festival has inspired the public to gather and celebrate diverse interests and the culture of the community for the past 113 years. Due the ongoing pandemic, families all over Oregon watched the Grand Petite Parade virtually on Facebook Live on Saturday, June 6. The virtual parade featured shoe box floats and creative entries from community members and organizations, including a “car” created by Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC) which featured the 811 logo and utility marker flags.

In addition, OUNC is providing free hand sanitizer and buffs to the public to help spread the damage prevention message without spreading germs. Click here to order yours on the Oregon 811 online store.

Member Tool & Resources

New Virtual 8/11 Day Toolkit Available for Members

Khrysanne Kerr, CGA Vice President of Marketing and Outreach

August 11 is just around the corner! In lieu of some of the traditional events and other tactics that aren’t possible this year due to the pandemic, the CGA created a virtual 8/11 Day toolkit to help your outreach to key audiences. Visit the new toolkit to download ideas for virtual campaigns, press release template, social media message and infographics, and Facebook ads and a Facebook advertising how-to-guide. Don’t forget to let the CGA and fellow members know about your 8/11 Day plans on Engage, so we can share on social media!

Data & Technology

2019 DIRT Data Analysis is Underway

Steve Blaney, DIRT Program Manager

The analysis of the 2019 DIRT data is underway for the preparation of the next annual DIRT report by the Data Reporting and Evaluation Committee and its report-writing consultant, Green Analytics Corp. Some changes are planned for the interactive dashboard based on input gathered in user feedback sessions. These include allowing multi-year trending, drilling down into the individual root causes that make up the groupings, and improved charts and graphics. A new platform, Power BI, will also be used.

Once again, the number of reports entered in DIRT reached an all-time high. The table below shows preliminary totals for 2019. “Unique” means after accounting for and consolidating multiple reports of the same event. Compared to 2018, total reports are up 33 percent and unique reports are up 20 percent. Additional analysis will determine if the increase in reports is due to increased DIRT reporting activity or an actual increase in damages, and the extent those may attributable to an overall increase in digging activity. 

The committee is targeting the release of the new interactive dashboard in late August and the publication of the DIRT Annual Report for 2019 on September 14. For questions or to join the Data Reporting and Evaluation Committee, contact Steve Blaney(link sends e-mail).

Association News

CGA Hosts Virtual Summer Committee Meetings

Erika Lee, CGA Vice President

We were excited to welcome more than 200 members to the CGA Virtual Committee Meetings in July, with approximately 20 percent indicating they were first-time attendees! The Best Practices Committee welcomed the largest group of the week with 90 attendees, while more than 50 percent of the Technology Committee attendees had never attended their committee meeting before. While it was disappointing to not meet in person, the silver lining was “seeing” so many new faces join us online.

Thank you to all the co-chairs, task team leads and attendees for participating in such productive and thoughtful committee meetings. Each committee’s meeting notes and attendance are available on Engage. We will update members on the status of the fall committee meetings in San Antonio, Texas in the coming weeks.

Damage Prevention in Your State

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

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