Monthly Update June 2020


CGA holds Virtual Awards to recognize outstanding leadership in damage prevention

Author: Sarah Magruder Lyle, CGA President & CEO

The Annual Meeting was canceled in March, but that did not stop CGA from celebrating the incredible achievements made by individuals and organizations last year in the damage prevention industry! The CGA Virtual Awards was a weeklong celebration the week of May 18 recognizing the damage prevention professionals who demonstrated exceptional leadership. The 2019 recipients are listed below. If you missed the award videos, you can watch them all here, and head to Engage to congratulate the winners!

  • President’s Award Power and Communication Contractors Association (PCCA)
  • Hall of Fame Award Gweneyette Broussard, Shell Pipeline Company LP
  • Jim Barron AwardKevin Hopper, Dig Safely New York
  • Ron Olitsky Member of the Year AwardDeanna Centurion, Cyera Strategies

Also recognized during the Virtual Awards were the committee co-chairs who work to carry out CGA’s mission. Outgoing co-chairs Brian Dreesen of USIC and Alice Miller of Ohio 811 were thanked for their contributions on the Best Practices and Stakeholder Outreach committees, respectively, and current co-chairs were recognized for ongoing contributions to CGA and its stakeholder groups.

Thank you to all members who joined us to watch the awards virtually and celebrate the great work being done in our industry!

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CGA announces Next Practices Initiative to identify the next generation of damage prevention practices

Author: Sarah Magruder Lyle, CGA President and CEO

CGA recently announced the launch of the Next Practices Initiative, designed to identify the next generation of damage prevention practices and technologies. The Next Practices Initiative will target the most critical challenges facing the damage prevention industry, share case studies and data supporting new and effective practices, and incentivize stakeholders to develop and support innovative solutions. The initiative will be overseen by an Advisory Group made up of leaders from CGA’s 16 stakeholder groups across the damage prevention industry, with the goal of increasing public safety and reducing damages through shared responsibility.

For more information about the Next Practices Initiative, visit  

News Brief

Dig Safely New York improves social media engagement

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

Dig Safely New York (DSNY) is fully utilizing social media to promote its mission by posting more engaging and relatable content. The organization's posts aren’t just about contacting 811 before you dig, but relating that message to the new conditions we live in. More homeowners are stuck at home and working on outdoor projects. So instead of messaging like, “Contact 811 before you dig,” DSNY is adding an image of a family dressed as superheroes with the message, “Superheroes – are you protecting your community by staying home? Make sure when you break for outdoor projects, you're protecting your underground utilities too. Contact 811 before any digging project.”

Between Facebook and Twitter, DSNY has seen a 4,476-impression increase from February 2020 to March 2020. As we entered April, we continued to brainstorm more engaging content, like a fun video where we pass a DSNY safety green shirt between employees who are in different cities throughout upstate New York. This video reached 1,793 impressions total between Facebook and Twitter. In other posts, we’ve asked questions to help encourage engagement with our followers. Posting engaging content has increased our impressions and encouraged more people to 811 before they dig. You can follow us on Facebook @DigSafelyNewYork811 or Twitter @DigSafelyNY.


Georgia 811 shares National Safe Digging Month highlights

- By Megan Estes, Georgia 811

In April, Georgia 811 held a social media giveaway for four $250 Lowe’s gift cards. Additionally, Georgia 811 began a partnership with YouTube bass fisherman “the Flukemaster” to sponsor a contest for a winner to go on a Flukemaster fishing trip. The partnership included mentions of Georgia 811 in the Flukemaster’s April videos with the contest form hosted on the Georgia 811 site. It led to a 58% increase in followers across all platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).

Outside of Georgia 811’s agreement with the Georgia Association of Broadcasters, new radio spots came out in April on La Raza and one additional Atlanta regional Mexican station through Davis Broadcasting.

Georgia 811’s April campaign with Total Traffic and Weather Network included 360 spots in Atlanta and 100 spots each in Albany, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Savannah and Atlanta. Georgia 811 also did a radio campaign with Cox Media Group, which included messaging on WSB, The River, and five different morning shows on WSB and The River, as well as digital elements: “The Georgia Gardener” newsletter, Home Fix-It Newsletter, and banner ads. Georgia 811 has rescheduled the Safe Digging Month media tour that was planned with Cliff Meidl to an 8/11 Day media tour.


Gopher State One Call holds Mother’s Day contest

- By Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts

Gopher State One Call (GSOC) held a Mother’s Day Contest to celebrate moms everywhere for going above and beyond during this difficult time. GSOC received a number of entries detailing stories about strong and loving matriarchs. GSOC randomly selected a winner to receive a $20 Amazon gift card for his mother, just in time for Mother’s Day.


Louisiana 811 announces Brent Saltzman as Executive Director

- By Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts

The Louisiana 811 (LA811) Board of Directors announced the selection of Brent Saltzman as Executive Director. Brent previously held the position of Manager-Damage Prevention for LA811 since 2013 and brings a wealth of knowledge to the Executive Director position. In his role as Manager-Damage Prevention, he was responsible for providing presentations regarding LA811’s operations, the Louisiana Underground Utilities & Facilities Damage Prevention Law and safe digging practices. He has worked with various stakeholders across Louisiana, including utility operators, excavators, local and state political subdivisions, and enforcement agencies.


Nebraska811 selects winners of Safe Digging Poster Contest

- By Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts

Nebraska811 announced the winners of the 2020 811 Safe Digging Poster Contest. The organization thanked the various schools for taking the time to learn about safe digging and preventing damage to underground utilities. While Nebraska811 was unable to visit the schools this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization hopes those visits can take place sometime in the near future. More information about the poster contest can be found on the Nebraska811 website at


Oregon Utility Notification Center promotes safe digging awareness through radio interview and online safety course

- By Grace Carlson, One Call Concepts

During National Safe Digging Month, Scott Gallegos, NW Natural's Damage Prevention Supervisor and Chair of Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC), discussed the need to call 811 before your shovel hits the ground with radio personality Lars Larson. Listen to the interview here: Additionally, OUNC’s free online Excavation Safety 101 course is available to those wanting to strengthen their understanding of common safety issues, as well as laws and best practices for safe excavation. Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion and earn continuing education credits through the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.


Indiana 811 Launches New Website

- By Mary Patricia Kindt, Underground Safety Alliance

Indiana 811 has relaunched The fresh and clean design supports our mission to promote safety and prevent damage to underground utilities with user-friendly navigation for member utilities, pros and homeowners with an emphasis on education. New tools and resources include an events calendar and damage prevention resources for stakeholders. You can bookmark the new site at, like us on Facebook at, and follow us on Twitter at


Underground Safety Alliance and 4iQ Solutions Announce Software Partnership for Indiana 811 and Kentucky 811 Notification Centers

- By Dan Lucarelli, Underground Safety Alliance and Jason Adams, 4iQ Solutions

Underground Safety Alliance (USA), the umbrella not-for-profit organization for Indiana 811 and Kentucky 811, and 4iQ Solutions, a developer of call center software and cloud-based services, recently announced a partnership to bring 4iQ’s leading software platform to USA’s 811 notification centers. 4iQ’s software platform Exactix will provide USA’s 811 centers with a world-class geocoding engine to define safe and accurate excavation notification areas. The platform’s quality control capabilities, along with tight integration to 4iQ’s industry-leading training and assessment software Coursettra, will bring a revolutionary process flow for all stakeholders of the Indiana 811 and Kentucky 811 notification systems.


First-ever online training for new best practices for working safely near underwater pipelines now available

- By: Ed Landgraf, Coastal and Marine Operators and Gretchen Bonfert, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

The United States has a wealth of natural resources—everything from habitat to petroleum reserves is unequalled. Many U.S. citizens work in fishing, marine, waterways and energy related industries. Pipelines safely convey an array of liquids and gases within and well beyond our coastlines. Dredging and many other types of marine construction and excavation activities occur daily. Land building and navigation all are vital to the US economy. Altogether, these riches of natural resources, economic activity, and restoration efforts pose special challenges with pipeline safety in marine environments.

New pipelines and utilities are being installed or updated every day, combined with increasing dredging and marine construction activity in the same waters. The chance of a marine vessel contacting underwater infrastructure continues to grow. Accidental interactions and incidents have caused spills, outages, gas releases, injuries and loss of human life. Closing the safety and damage prevention gaps within lakes, bays, rivers, bayous, inlets, oceans and gulfs is the primary focus of Coastal and Marine Operators (CAMO) – “Marine Damage Prevention” – and calling 811 for underwater locates are not equally understood as they are on-land.

Best practices:

  • Oil and gas pipelines, along with a wide array of utilities, crisscross U.S. waterways in record number; therefore, a new recommended best practices guide titled “Working Safely Near Underwater Pipelines” was released 2019 along with a corresponding “Safety and Emergency Tip Card” for jobsite use. Both documents will help to ensure the continued safety and environmental protection that we all strive to maintain and enhance.
  • Debuted at the annual Coastal and Marine Safety Emergency Response Workshop on Nov. 6, 2019 in New Orleans, the two new publications were distributed. The meeting is co-hosted by the organizations that prepared these new tools: the Coastal and Marine Operators Group (CAMO) and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF). It should be noted, funding from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Technical Assistance Grant made this project possible.
  • The picture-packed, best practices guide leads personnel involved with underwater or marine projects through long-term and short-term project planning steps. It includes guidance during construction and the new pocket-sized, waterproof safety and emergency tip card also serves as a checklist or safety meeting topic at the jobsite.

Nationwide online training:

  • In summer of 2020, the first-ever national online and interactive pipeline safety training will be released for working safely near underwater pipelines. It complements the recommended best practices and tip card highlighted above. This online training has something for everyone no matter what his or her responsibilities entail, even if it’s land based. Although designed for mariners, underwater construction and the pipeline industry, it addresses general safety and damage prevention that can apply to all facilities. Telecommunications, electric, water and other utility lines often traverse some type of waterway.
  • This one-hour online training has seven training sections that can be completed at different intervals: on a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. The training covers one call, project planning, personnel roles, communication, timing, marking, tolerance zones and emergency response. The training is FREE for the first 500 users and only a one-time $5 administrative fee afterward. All contractors and pipeline personnel engaged in marine construction, pipeline safety or related activities should consider this online training as a valuable resource when working near underwater pipelines. Closing gaps in all aspects of damage prevention gets everyone closer to zero accidents!

Download “Working Safely Near Underwater Pipelines” Best Practices Guide and Tip Card for FREE at To register for the online training at Damage Prevention Academy, visit or find the online training link at For more info on joining CAMO or questions contact Ed Landgraf, Chairman at

Member Tool & Resources

Look ahead with CGA’s Back to Business Toolkit

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

As restrictions begin to ease around the country and we move toward a return to typical digging activity, CGA has created the Back to Business Toolkit to help members look ahead while continuing to acknowledge the work done over the past few months. Members can access the toolkit on CGA’s website.

The Back to Business Toolkit is separated into two distinct campaigns, aimed at thanking the essential workers in our industry who have continued working during this time, and raising awareness among homeowners about safe digging during the summer.

  • Essential Workers: Thank You for Keeping Us Connected – This campaign focuses on thanking the workers in the damage prevention industry who have helped keep us connected and safe during the pandemic. The toolkit provides infographics and social media messages geared toward thanking essential personnel and bringing awareness to the important services they provide, as well as a one-pager of larger promotional campaign ideas to thank these workers in a bigger way.
  • Digging into Summer – This campaign seeks to remind homeowners to call 811 during the summer, a time known for increased digging activity. The toolkit includes social messages and infographics targeting homeowners, radio PSA scripts, digital ads, and helpful information about starting a simple Facebook ad campaign.

We hope these tools are a helpful way to look ahead to a busy summertime season, while thanking those who have kept the industry running during this time. You can find the full Back to Business toolkit here to get started. While you’re there, check out other recent CGA resources like the Storm Cleanup Toolkit and the Best Practices Toolkit for more ways to highlight safe digging practices.

Data & Technology

Technology Committee publishes third annual Technology Report

Author: Erika Lee, CGA Vice President

CGA’s Technology Committee published the third annual “Technology Advancements and Gaps in Underground Safety” report to help evaluate current damage prevention technologies and identify gaps that could be filled by new or modified technologies. The report details case studies from CGA members who have successfully deployed new technologies, which provide insight for members into how technology can be effectively implemented. The report also examines some of the root causes of damages provided in CGA’s Annual DIRT Reports and offers ideas for how technology could be applied to address them.

Read the full report here, and visit Engage to share your insights with fellow members! 

Association News

July committee meetings will be held virtually

Author: CGA staff

CGA is shifting our July committee meetings to a new virtual format, following the announcement by Boston’s mayor restricting large gatherings through Labor Day. Click here for more information about the change, and stay tuned to Engage and the July committee meetings page on CGA’s website for more updates.

The safe digging message continues to make a big impact this spring

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

This spring was like none that we’ve experienced before, and raising awareness about the call-before-you-dig message posed greater challenges than in years past. We were very pleased to see sizeable results generated by our members during National Safe Digging Month despite the pandemic, and had some additional exciting opportunities to highlight 811 through the Virtual Derby and American Pharoah Preakness special on NBC Sports. Here are just a few of the results from member outreach efforts this year:

  • More than 1,100 total media stories generated by members
  • Approximately 240 million media impressions connected to NSDM initiatives
  • Another record-breaking April for, which was up 17% from 2019’s record-setting number of visitors
  • More than half (52%) of all visits in NSDM resulted in a direct referral to a one call website/ticketing platform
  • Approximately 88,000 referrals from to one call center websites and online ticket platforms, up 7% from 2019

This spring also brought media attention for Call 811 through past investments in Triple Crown promotions! NBC Sports aired extensive coverage of American Pharoah’s 2015 Kentucky Derby win during its Virtual Derby, featuring Jockey Victor Espinoza’s 811-branded gear. Around the country, 3.8 million Americans tuned in to watch and saw the Call 811 message up close. A special program about American Pharoah’s victory at the 2015 Preakness Stakes also aired this spring, focusing attention on the Call 811 message once again with no additional spending.

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