Monthly Update - April 2020


CGA is launching Engage platform to support COVID-19 communications

Author: Sarah Magruder Lyle, CGA President and CEO

As we continue to navigate the difficult landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, CGA is here to support members and help ensure the integrity of facility lines and the safety of the public during this challenging time. We are preparing to launch our Engage platform this week to help members share timely information and collaborate on how they are navigating through this crisis. The platform is a digital forum for real-time information sharing and conversation that will be critical for our community to work together to ensure the continued safety of necessary utilities. The platform will also continue to serve as an invaluable resource for the damage prevention industry beyond this health crisis as a way for stakeholder groups to collaborate in real time on a variety of key topics critical to our industry.

Between now and the formal launch of CGA’s Engage platform, we are asking for members to share service updates and/or status announcements, as well as other industry-relevant information related to COVID-19. Please submit any formal announcements, articles or company communications that can be shared with the greater damage prevention community. CGA will update this page with accurate and timely information as it is submitted.

Submit a story to CGA Update

Submit Story

News Brief

CenterPoint Energy employee award recognizes damage prevention leaders

- By Josh Beach, CenterPoint Energy

CenterPoint Energy created the inaugural CenterPoint Energy Damage Prevention Award to recognize an employee who demonstrates the leadership qualities necessary to drive progress in the damage prevention industry. The first recipient of this inaugural award was James Steck, a damage prevention coordinator in New Braunfels, Texas. James was awarded a custom-made hardhat decorated with the 811 logo and was recognized during a virtual team meeting for the entire damage prevention and public awareness department. During the award announcement, James was praised for achieving measurable results in an efficient and effective manner regarding safety, customer satisfaction, compliance requirements and productivity; ensuring contract locators follow the best practices when marking company facilities; fostering partnerships with local excavators and locators; and collaborating with all levels of company leadership.

CenterPoint Energy’s damage prevention and public awareness department covers nine states: Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas. This award is an extension of the team culture that is built on collaborating with damage prevention partners, as well as sharing and learning proven practices to educate the public and excavators on safe digging.


Dig Safely New York, Inc. enhances one call process with stakeholders

- By Devin R. Negrete, Dig Safely New York, Inc.

Dig Safely New York, Inc. (DSNY) continues to find ways to improve the one call process by working with others in the in industry strategically. This year, the organization housed the Unite Summit hosted by National Grid. At the event, DSNY shared its knowledge, pain points, lessons learned, successes and strategies to help each gas utility/pipeline company reduce damages across New York state with DSNY’s support.

Each utility company in attendance was asked to bring issues and successes they have experienced with supporting data, as well as a sample of public awareness/marketing materials they’ve used to promote safe digging. The design of the workshop was interactive, creative and problem-solving with the goal of reducing damages and solving major excavator issues utilities are facing.

The next steps were to identify areas of opportunity and action items, assign responsibilities and timeframes, discuss a conference call check-in schedule to monitor progress, and schedule another time to collaborate. Overall, attendees said they were happy with the Unite Summit and think it will be beneficial to enhancing the one call process across the state.


Gopher State One Call hosts booth at home and garden show

- By Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts, Inc.

On Feb. 26, Gopher State One Call (GSOC) hosted a booth at the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show, a vibrant marketplace where local professionals promoted home-related products and services, and industry experts connected with homeowners through informative presentations. GSOC spoke with a number of businesses, homeowners and excavators, provided a complete “call before you dig" garden display, and offered free promotional items.


Save the date for Indiana and Kentucky 811’s 2020 Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference

- By Mary Patricia Kindt, Underground Safety Alliance

The Midwest’s largest damage prevention event will be returning for another year! Mark your calendars for the 2020 Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference, occurring Nov. 11-13 at the historic French Lick Resort in idyllic French Lick, Ind.

Conference favorites such as networking events and the welcome reception will be back again in 2020. Plus, look forward to an extensive schedule of educational training sessions, designed for all members of the damage prevention community, from excavators to locators to emergency responders.

Registration for the 2020 MWDPTC will begin in May. To check out the 2019 MWDPTC recap video and learn more about the conference, visit


Kansas 811 promotes call-before-you-dig message at local fair

- By Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts, Inc.

The first Harvey County Safety Fair was held March 7 in Newton, Kansas. They had 30 vendors, including Kansas 811, along with 12 emergency agencies that participated in a “touch-a-truck” program. This program allowed attendees of all ages to get a hands-on tour of all the emergency vehicles. They also had an emergency response helicopter fly in and complete a helicopter rescue demonstration. The event had a great turnout, with more than 1,100 people in attendance. Kansas 811 is already looking forward to participating again next year!


Louisiana 811 recognizes locators and spreads safe digging message

- By Amber Dahl and Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts, Inc.

Louisiana 811 awarded the Locators of the Year for 2019, selected from nominations across the state. The winners were Stacey Ehrman from USIC (Contract Locator of the Year), Dennis Washington from DeSoto Parish Waterworks District #1 (Small Company), and Raymond Sonnier from Atmos Energy (Large Company).

Louisiana 811 also participated in the February Louisiana Pipeliners Association dinner meeting in Baton Rouge. Attendees heard an informative presentation about the removal of pipelines on state property and damage prevention given by Steven Giambrone, Director, Pipeline Division for LADNR and Bob Bauman, Bauman & Associates.

During the first week of February, Brent Saltzman and other team members visited St. Amant Middle School for a career day to talk about what Louisiana 811 does and the importance of calling before you dig. Career day is always a fun time and a great opportunity to share the various important roles in the one call industry. Thanks to Mrs. Bourgeois, Mrs. Sharper and Mrs. Green for hosting.


Oregon Utility Notification Center participates in safety summit

- By Amber Dahl, One Call Concepts, Inc.

The Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC) was a proud sponsor of the 2020 Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit in Bend. Hundreds of attendees stopped by the 811 booth, including keynote speaker Matt Pomerinke. OUNC also recently announced the Spanish language release of the Oregon 811 app.


Member Tool & Resources

National Safe Digging Month toolkit is available

Author: Khrysanne Kerr, CGA Vice President of Marketing and Outreach

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this April is going to be a very different National Safe Digging Month (NSDM) than before. We know that during this time, the priority of our members has shifted to adjusting operations amid the quickly changing conditions around the country. We want to support members in maintaining the safety and function of all underground utilities by providing easily accessible tools that facilitate damage prevention outreach in this challenging landscape. CGA’s updated NSDM toolkit provides outreach tools for members to address a variety of situations that are occurring around the country—areas seeing normal digging activity, areas encouraging online submissions to decrease delays and areas discouraging all non-essential digging. Visit the toolkit to find a variety of social media messages, infographics, an Omnibus fact sheet, guidelines for remote media interviews,  and media alert templates in the event of a locator shortage or construction stoppage. We’ll continue to update the toolkit as the situation evolves, so please be sure to visit the NSDM toolkit regularly.

Data & Technology

All 2019 data for annual DIRT Report due March 31

Author: Steve Blaney, DIRT Program Manager

CGA’s Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) supports all stakeholders by collecting and analyzing underground damage and near miss events. The CGA DIRT program is currently collecting 2019 data submissions. Please help us ensure a timely release of the Annual DIRT Report by submitting your 2019 data at by March 31, 2020, and read on for some helpful tips about the DIRT Administrator role. If you need additional time to input your data, contact CGA at [email protected] to request an extension.

CGA DIRT program “Administrator” role

When registering in DIRT, one of the last steps is choosing your role. For the typical company there are three roles to choose from: User, Manager and Company Administrator. Each inherits the responsibilities and privileges of the previous role and acquires a few more. 

Every company registered in DIRT must have at least one Company Administrator but may have more. The DIRT Registration Wizard will steer the first person to register a new company to the Company Administrator role. One of the key responsibilities of that Company Administrator then becomes approving (or rejecting) new registrants for that company. When someone new attempts to register in a company that already exists in DIRT, the system will auto-generate an email to the Company Administrator(s) for them to act on.

One of the common feedback tickets the CGA DIRT Support team gets is new registrants inquiring about approval taking longer than expected. Sometimes this is due to their Company Administrator not acting promptly on the email from the DIRT system, perhaps not realizing what it is. It then falls further and further down in their email inbox until they lose track of it. Other times it’s because the Company Administrator retired or the left the company without designating someone new to take over the role.

The DIRT Company Administrator doesn’t need to be a high executive position in the company but should be someone with a hands-on role in damage prevention. CGA Support Staff can adjust a person’s role upon request. For example, if a Company Administrator retires, we can elevate a User or Manager to that role.  

The available features on the DIRT Main Menu increase with each role. In future editions of CGA Update, we’ll cover some DIRT features available to Company Administrators. For now, we’ll cover a simple one that comes up often this time of year: how to indicate you have nothing to report or that your reporting for the prior year is complete. Only Company Administrators see “Submission Status” on their DIRT Main Menu. Open that, check the box and click “Submit.”

If you have questions about your role, need it adjusted, or need to review who is registered in which roles for your company, please submit a DIRT feedback ticket or contact DIRT Program Manager Steve Blaney at [email protected].

Association News

Thank you to all our partners at CONEXPO-CON/AGG!

Author: Khrysanne Kerr, CGA Vice President of Marketing and Outreach

CGA recently attended North America’s largest construction trade show, CONEXPO-CON/AGG, in Las Vegas, where 811 had a significant and eye-catching presence at two booth locations. Call 811’s exhibit floor space featured Marathon Pipe Line LLC’s giant iPhone, Padzilla, and an outdoor booth space caught eyes with SoCalGas’ 30-foot 811 shovel, providing an unmissable reminder about damage prevention.

The impactful conference, which reported over 130,000 registered attendants, provided an excellent opportunity to raise public awareness about the importance of safe digging. Key industry stakeholders in construction equipment, products, services and technologies were present to see our message and be reminded to call 811 before digging.

We’d like to thank and recognize the organizations who funded this collaborative effort, including Magellan Midstream Partners LP, Marathon Pipe Line LLC, ONEOK, Inc., Shell Pipeline Company LP, TC Energy, USA North 811 and Verizon. CGA would also like to thank USIC for their booth support on-site. Your support was critical to create an attention-grabbing presence at the conference that helped build awareness of damage prevention to benefit our entire industry. Thank you!

Damage Prevention in Your State

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

Find Your State

CGA Toolkits

CGA has created a suite of toolkits designed to help members generate public awareness about the importance of damage prevention.

Explore Resources

Back to Map

Return to Map