Monthly Update - February 2021

Feature Feature Icon

New member spotlight: Orbital Sidekick    

Author: Sarah Magruder Lyle, CGA President and CEO

CGA is pleased to announce a new feature article of the CGA Monthly Update which will highlight a new member each month. The goal is to introduce these organizations to our membership and help increase our ability to connect by learning about these entities and the people who work there. Facilitating these opportunities is extremely important for the CGA membership - especially since we are unable to gather and meet face-to-face.

Welcomed to CGA late last year as one of the nearly 40 new members in 2020, Orbital Sidekick (OSK) is deploying a space-based infrastructure of hyperspectral sensors to provide monitoring services and solutions to the energy sector and beyond. According to OSK, among the capabilities setting their platform apart from other remote sensing technology is that, not only can it tell you if a pipeline is leaking, but it can determine the product that’s leaking while also identifying recent soil disturbances.  Refining this capability is a priority for OSK over the coming year. 

OSK recently announced it has been awarded a $16 million multi-year contract by the Department of the Air Force’s commercial investment group in conjunction with the Space and Missile Systems Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory.  This funding will accelerate OSK’s deployment of its Global Hyperspectral Observation Satellite (GHOSt) constellation of six high-resolution satellite-based scanners. As often as daily, OSK will analyze pipeline and infrastructure data captured by GHOSt.

OSK’s Vice President of Business Development Peter Weaver will be speaking about his company at the 2021 CGA Conference & Expo scheduled for Oct. 12-15 in Orlando, Florida. We look forward to hearing about OSK’s technology, including examples of their latest satellite imagery, and how it will enhance damage prevention practices. Click here to learn more and to register for the damage prevention industry’s premier in-person event of the year. 

News Briefs News Icon

Dig Safely New York “Springs into Safety” with new training opportunity

Author: Aimee Milks, Dig Safely New York

Around this time last year, Dig Safely New York was preparing for their annual Excavator Safety Seminars, events they rely on to train thousands of excavators in a short amount of time during New York’s construction off-season. With COVID-19 still looming, Dig Safely New York has decided to change the seminar series in 2021 to smaller breakfast training classes.

The 26 in-person “Spring into Safety” events are scheduled for March and April 2021. These educational opportunities will be capped at 50 attendees and allow for the face-to-face interaction that has been missing for nearly a year. To kick off these events, Dig Safely New York will be hosting virtual training classes throughout February for those who cannot make the in-person events in March and April, or would feel more comfortable joining virtually online. If the New York state regulations for in-person event capacity do not allow Dig Safely New York to host the seminar series, they have a plan to transition to virtual if necessary.

Dig Safely New York said they are still taking things one day at a time and trying to make the best decisions for all their stakeholders for safety.

Miss Utility recognizes outstanding contractors in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Author: Dora Parks, Miss Utility of Maryland/District One Call

Miss Utility of Maryland/District One Call recently recognized the winners of the 2019-2020 Dig Smart Awards. Miss Utility's annual Dig Smart Awards was established more than 20 years ago to promote underground utility safety and recognize contractors who steadily work toward damage prevention, and is sponsored by the MD/DC Subscribers and supported by the Board of Directors. The Dig Smart Awards program is a self-nomination process and a committee of damage prevention stakeholder representatives reviews the entries based on entry criteria response to select one winner for Maryland and one for Washington, D.C. Companies that have won a Dig Smart Award at least three times in the past are eligible for the Excellence Award.

The 2019-2020 Dig Smart Award winners included Gaines and Company (Maryland), Flippo Construction Company, Inc. (Washington, D.C.), and Anchor Construction Corporation (Excellence Award). Each year, the Dig Smart Award winners each receive a beautiful acrylic plaque with an embedded shovel and recognition by peers as leaders in damage prevention at the Greater Chesapeake Damage Prevention Training Conference (GCDPTC), which takes place in Ocean City, Md., in October. The winners also receive two complimentary packages to the conference, which include registration, meals and two nights of hotel accommodations.

Although the 2020 GCDPTC was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the traditional awards presentation could not take place, members of Miss Utility's Awards Committee were able to safely visit each winning company at their workplaces to present them with their plaques this past fall, and each winner will receive their two complimentary conference packages to the 2021 GCDPTC this upcoming October, where they will be recognized in front of their industry peers.

Member Tools & Resources Feature Icon

Member webinar and shared resources available online

Author: Erika Lee, CGA Vice President

Last month, CGA held the Member Resources Webinar to provide a deep dive of the many great member resources and tools available on our website. From helpful toolkits to case studies, data reports to white papers, the CGA website contains a wealth of educational information and materials for members to share the safe digging messages with key stakeholders and audiences. In addition, the webinar highlighted some of the unique and effective damage prevention efforts conducted by CGA members CenterPoint Energy, Georgia 811, Miss Utility/One Call Concepts and Marathon Pipe Line, which are now available in the new member-shared resources section of the website.

For those that were unable to attend or would like to go back and re-watch the webinar, click here to view on the CGA website

Data & Technology Data & Technology Icon

Exploring the DIRT Interactive Dashboard

Author: Steve Blaney, DIRT Program Manager

The annual CGA Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report provides a wealth of information about reported damages and their causes to help our industry reduce utility damages in the future. To equip you with the data most relevant to your organization and to create meaningful strategies to reduce damages, CGA has created the DIRT Interactive Dashboard. The Dashboard, created using Microsoft’s Power BI data visualization technology, allows users to interact with the data and explore trends based on a variety of factors to better understand the DIRT data as it pertains to your organization or stakeholder group.

When you enter the DIRT Dashboard, you will be on the Introduction & Glossary page, where you can find an overview of the Dashboard and definitions of terms found in the DIRT Report. The links along the top of the Dashboard take you to other pages where you can filter data in a variety of ways, including geography, time of year, root cause, facility type and much more.

  • The State & Province Metrics page allows you to view damage metrics geographically. Click an individual state or province to see statistics, including the number of unique damages, damages per 100,000 people and damages by construction spending. Multiple states or provinces can be selected to get a picture of damage metrics for that combined set.
  • The Calendar Heatmap page shows how damages vary during different times of year. View the most common days of the week for damages, peak weeks during the year and a full calendar showing damages for each day of the year. This data can be filtered based on the type of utility damaged, root cause, geography and more so that you can find specific damage data for a particular day or time of year.
  • Use the DIRT Explorer page to find unique damages based on multiple fields, including root cause, facility type affected and equipment type. Interact with the helpful graphs, maps and a damage timeline on this page to further filter unique damages by factors such as geography and time of year.
  • Compare DIRT data over time with Annual Trending. This tool compares 2018 and 2019 DIRT data in a variety of fields to see how damages have changed over time. This can be especially useful to evaluate the efficacy of awareness strategies and the appropriate target audiences with the safe digging message.

Get started exploring the DIRT Dashboard on CGA’s website. The DIRT Report and the Dashboard are only made possible by the damage data anonymously submitted by industry stakeholders, so be sure to submit your 2020 damage data into DIRT by March 31 to contribute to the 2020 DIRT Report.

For questions regarding the DIRT Dashboard, please email Steve Blaney.

Association News Association Icon

Building off the tremendous growth CGA experienced in 2020, we are excited to welcome four new members to CGA just one month into the new year!

Please join us in welcoming the following organizations to CGA:

We look forward to working with all CGA members through partnerships, collaborations and the pursuit of common goals in damage prevention this year. Make sure to stay connected with fellow members, share real-time updates, and collaborate with your committees and Task Teams any time on CGA’s Engage Platform – to visit click here.

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