Avoid these DIRT mistakes
Author: Steve Blaney, DIRT Program Manager
The start of a new year is typically the time to review the past 12 months and get organized for the coming year. Near the top of all DIRT user lists is loading DIRT data. The following are some mistakes we occasionally find in the data that are likely based on confusion or misunderstandings:
Mistake: Entering above-ground or non-excavation events as underground damages
The annual DIRT reports and dashboards focus on excavation-related underground damages. CGA also collects and analyzes underground near miss data. DIRT also accepts reports on above-grade and other “non-excavation” damages, but these are offered for users who want to use DIRT as their internal record-keeping system. If you do not use DIRT in this manner, please leave out reports for events such as: car hit meter or pole, lawnmower broke valve, dump truck snagged overhead wires, etc. If you do use DIRT this way, be sure to select the appropriate Type of Event.
Mistake: Leaving City and Address fields blank
DIRT allows these fields to be blank because not all events occur in an incorporated town, city, or village, and not always at or near a building or property with an address. However, this practice complicates efforts to identify multiple reports of the same event. It can lead to false positive matches because the algorithms end up comparing blank against blank for these fields and treat it as a match. The practice can also cause actual matches to be missed if one party enters the information and another party leaves it blank. If you do have the information, please enter it rather than leave it blank just because it is allowed.
Mistake: Improper use of “Call Center Error” root cause
This root cause is intended for errors at or by the one call center, such as not correctly entering the work site on the ticket. It is not for errors by excavators with respect to their 811 notification, such as providing wrong information or not making notification at all. For those situations, please choose one of these options:
Mistake: Improper use of Liquid Pipeline as Source of Event Information
Reports have been entered in DIRT with water as the facility damaged and liquid pipeline as the event source. On closer review we find the submitter is a water provider. Water is a liquid, but the Liquid Pipeline event source is intended for companies that transport hazardous products like oil or propane. Private Water or Public Works should usually be the event source for water facility damages.
For questions about the DIRT Report, email Steven Blaney.