WASHINGTON (Feb. 26, 2018) – Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the stakeholder-run organization dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them, and their communities, calls on damage prevention stakeholders to submit data from 2017 underground excavation damages and near miss events at www.cga-dirt.com prior to the March 31 deadline.
This data will be collected and analyzed by the member-driven CGA Data Committee this spring and summer, and will be released in the 2017 Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report in August.
The 2016 DIRT Report, which was the sum of all annual data submitted anonymously and voluntarily by facility operators, utility locating companies, one call centers, contractors, regulators, and others, estimated that underground excavation damages conservatively cost direct stakeholders at least $1.5 billion.
The 2016 DIRT Report benefitted from a record-high number of submissions and a record-high Data Quality Index score (a measurement of the completeness of data submissions), yielding the most comprehensive analysis of damages to buried facilities ever compiled.
Despite this record-high number of event submissions from 2016, CGA continues to encourage submissions from a more representative sample of stakeholder groups in 2017.
Nearly 61 percent of the data submissions were provided by the locating industry, with natural gas submitting 18 percent – a distant second. Despite excavators being a significant party to any damage or near miss event regardless of the root cause, only about 10 percent of submissions came from this group, with other stakeholders (one call centers, telecommunications, regulators, electric and public works) representing a small portion (less than 4 percent each) of the sample.
“The 2016 DIRT Report was the most comprehensive analysis of underground excavation damages and near miss events to date, thanks in large part to a record number of data submissions,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, President and CEO of CGA. “While we continue to remain focused on growth in overall submissions, we also seek greater diversity in the reporting stakeholder groups. Receiving more data submissions is a win-win for everyone involved. The submitting organization is able to have its voice heard in the DIRT Report, and the report provides a more accurate picture of total damage and near miss events.”
CGA has created a toolkit of educational materials at www.cga-dirt.com, including a user guide, training tools for registration and submitting data, and details on how CGA confidentially manages all submitted data. CGA designed all of these tools to help the first-time DIRT data submitter feel comfortable with the process.
“CGA’s Data Reporting and Evaluation Committee is aiming to top last year’s record-setting number of data submissions, and one of the easiest ways to reach that goal is by receiving data from more first-time submitters,” said Bruce Campbell, Data Committee co-chair from MISS DIG System, Inc. “As we approach the March 31 deadline, we are hopeful that new damage prevention stakeholders will see the benefits that come from anonymously and voluntarily submitting data to DIRT.”
The complete DIRT Annual Report for 2016 is available for download at http://commongroundalliance.com/media-reports/dirt-reports.
CGA is a member-driven association of nearly 1,700 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at http://www.commongroundalliance.com.