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Q2 Update

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From National Safe Digging Month to 8/11 Day, 50 in 5 momentum builds 

Author: Sarah Magruder Lyle, CGA President and CEO

Welcome to the Q2 2023 edition of CGA Quarterly Update! We kicked off the quarter by celebrating National Safe Digging Month at our sold-out Conference & Expo with more than 1,200 damage prevention leaders in Orlando, Fl. The recap video truly captures the excitement, energy and momentum of our members, and their commitment to achieving our “50 in 5” goal.  Please be sure to mark your calendars for April 14-18 for the 2024 CGA Conference & Expo at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.

But you don’t have to wait until 2024 to join us for collaborative, in-person damage prevention problem-solving events: Register today for our Summer Committee Summit, taking place July 31-Aug. 3 in beautiful Gulf Shores, Ala. Hotel room rates expire after July 7, so don’t delay in making your accommodations. The Summer Summit will focus on our industry’s most persistent and prevalent damage root cause – failure to notify 811. All committee and advisory board meetings as well as networking events will be centered on emerging data, research and initiatives to tackle this pressing, multifaceted issue.

8/11 Day, which is just around the corner, is another excellent opportunity to talk to the media, industry peers and coworkers about damage prevention and how your organization can make bold changes to drive damages down by 50% over the next 5 years. CGA has published its 2023 8/11 Day Toolkit to assist members with press releases, social media messages and graphics, and other creative campaigns this August. Don’t forget to check out 8/11 Day updates to our Excavator Toolkit as well, including a new contractor-focused graphic.

Please read on for important updates from CGA’s Damage Prevention Institute, which is now accrediting eligible participants, and to hear about our new alliance with OSHA and other trade and labor groups, and of course news from members across the country.

I look forward seeing you in Gulf Shores next month!

Be safe,
Sarah K. Magruder Lyle

P.S.: CGA Quarterly Update submission guidelines can be found here. We encourage members to share campaigns and concepts on Engage in between editions of CGA Update.

News Briefs News Icon

Enhancing safety: Oregon 811's positive response campaign

Oregon 811 is launching a powerful positive response campaign, utilizing emails, social media, a hand out and a blog post to emphasize the importance of positive response. Positive response is a vital tool that fosters clear communication among stakeholders and reduces the likelihood of damages during excavations.

As part of the campaign, Oregon 811's Contact Center team will guide excavators and facility operators in setting up participation through the Locator Tickets portal or their own system.

Miss Utility of Maryland/D.C. recognizes excellent locators

On May 19, Miss Utility of Maryland/D.C. recognized 52 regional locators at the 20th annual Locator Achievement Awards for their dedication to damage prevention and exemplary performance with zero safety violations in 2022. Since its inception in 2003, the Locator Achievement Awards program has aimed to recognize the essential role that locate technicians in Maryland and Washington, D.C. have in protecting underground infrastructure and keeping communities safe.

Miss Utility’s 20th annual Locator Achievement Awards celebration took place at a Bowie Baysox game at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie, Md., where locators, their families, members of the awards committee and Miss Utility members gathered to celebrate the locators’ accomplishments. During the baseball game, winning locators stood on the dugout to be recognized by the Bowie Baysox over the PA system, and received a round of applause from the thousands present in the stadium. In addition to the awards celebration, locators received a Locator Achievement Awards certificate, a custom-embroidered safety jacket and an 811 T-shirt. Miss Utility also had a marketing booth set up during the game to help spread the 811 message to the homeowner audience in attendance.

Tennessee 811’s Bill Turner receives Silver Flame Award

The Tennessee Gas Association (TGA) presented its highest honor, the Silver Flame Award, to William “Bill” Turner, president and CEO of Tennessee 811, during an awards reception at the association’s annual meeting. The award recognizes outstanding service by association members to the state’s natural gas industry. Bill is the 32nd recipient of the award since its inception in 1990.

“Our primary goal in the gas industry is safety – the safety of the people, the public, and the infrastructure. That begins with notification. Third-party damage has a huge impact on safety, and we’ve got the biggest advocate for damage prevention that I have met through the industry in Bill Turner,” said Bobby Garner, a TGA member who served as the chairman of Tennessee 811’s board until his recent retirement from Piedmont Natural Gas.

Bill celebrates his 33rd anniversary with Tennessee 811 in 2023. He has been an active member of TGA for most of his career, with a particular passion for the association’s scholarship foundation that provides financial assistance to the children of employees who are TGA members seeking higher education and residing in the State of Tennessee. Through committee service, legislative support and the daily work of operating the one-call system, Bill has demonstrated his dedication to and appreciation of the state’s natural gas systems for more than 20 years. Bill values natural gas operators as a keystone of damage prevention efforts across the state and counts natural gas system employees among his closest friends and colleagues.

“Not only has his work affected Tennessee’s gas systems, but it has also affected the families and children of those people who work every day to provide our customers with natural gas,” said Mark O’Neal, General Manager of Greater Dickson Gas Authority and past president of TGA.

Nebraska 811’s unique sponsorships at the rodeo and the racetrack

Nebraska 811 is a leading advocate for underground safety, and their sponsorship efforts extend beyond traditional avenues. By supporting professional cowboy Jeff Richardson and race car driver Devyn Peterson, Nebraska 811 effectively spreads the word about damage prevention to diverse audiences. Through their engaging presence at rodeos and on racetracks, Nebraska 811 ensures that their message reaches a wide range of individuals across Nebraska and surrounding states.

Cowboy Jeff Richardson actively engages with spectators at rodeos, distributing educational brochures, promotional items, and autographed pictures. With assistance from Nebraska One Call Board members and staff, Jeff creates a memorable experience for rodeo attendees, reinforcing the importance of contacting 811 before any excavation projects.

In the fast-paced world of motorsports, Devyn Peterson serves as an ambassador for underground safety. With the Nebraska 811 logo prominently displayed on his race car, Devyn not only competes in thrilling races but also reminds racing fans about the significance of contacting 811 before any digging endeavors, sharing the damage prevention message with fans across Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas.

On the left, Jeff Richardson the Nebraska 811 Rodeo cowboy, and on the right, race car driver Devyn Peterson.

Louisiana 811 National Safe Digging Month contest drives impressive results

Louisiana 811's National Safe Digging Month contest proved to be a highly effective campaign, resulting in a substantial increase in sign-ups and raised awareness about safe digging practices and damage prevention efforts.

Throughout April 2023, the contest required participants to complete the Louisiana 811 online training course. The outcome was a remarkable surge of approximately 380% in sign-ups and completions of the course compared to April 2022! The number of course completions in April alone was twice the cumulative completions of the preceding three months in 2023. This extraordinary achievement not only showcased the campaign's remarkable effectiveness but also highlighted the residents' unwavering dedication to enhancing their knowledge and promoting safety during excavation work.

The contest strategically utilized social media platforms, showcasing remarkable engagement and expanded reach. Louisiana 811's Facebook posts in April alone experienced over 350 engagements and reached over 5,600 people organically successfully spreading the message of safe digging practices and raising awareness about Louisiana 811's services.

Oregon 811 announces its all-female board of directors for 2023

From left:
Lee Tumminello – Secretary of the OUNC Board and Cities over 25K
Alba Vogland – Treasurer of the OUNC Board and representing Counties
Melanie Lewis – Chairperson of the OUNC Board and representing Regulated Electricity
Jaimie Lemke – Vice Chair of the OUNC Board and representing Natural Gas Distribution

Kentucky 811's year of summits empowers industry professionals in damage prevention and software management

Kentucky is gearing up for a transformative year of summits, starting with the successful completion of the Free Software Summits in February 2023. These events equipped Kentucky-based excavators and Kentucky 811 members with crucial skills for software management, particularly in utilizing the ITICnxt tool for ticket submission and management.

Industry professionals just wrapped up the Second Annual Kentucky Damage Prevention Summit, which took place at the Embassy Suites Lexington, featuring engaging sessions, cutting-edge workshops, and unparalleled networking opportunities.

The summit addressed key topics such as Dig Law, industry technology, investigating damaged utility lines and fortifying cybersecurity measures. CGA’s Khrysanne Kerr presented about the national damage prevention landscape.

Kentucky's commitment to hosting these summits reflects its dedication to the growth and success of industry professionals, promoting safer practices and streamlined processes.

Kansas 811 and Missouri 811 sponsored Underground Team Racing at the AHRMA event

Underground Team Racing, proudly sponsored by Kansas 811 and Missouri 811, showcased their exceptional skills at an American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association event in Topeka. The crowd of 1,500+ racing enthusiasts witnessed thrilling races while also receiving valuable underground utility damage prevention information.

Kansas 811 and Missouri 811 used this platform to raise awareness about responsible digging practices. During breaks between races, the team engaged with the crowd, stressing the importance of contacting 811 before excavation projects.

IEUCC (Washington) unveils new billboard promoting safe digging practices

The Inland Empire Utility Coordination Council, Inc. (IEUCC) will unveiled a captivating new billboard in June. The billboard's design features a scenic blue sky with clouds, a cross-section of the earth, utility flags following the APWA color code, a shovel, and the phrase, "Know What's Below, Tap, Click, or Call 811 Before You Dig." With its visually appealing content, the billboard aims to raise awareness and highlight the benefits of proactive outreach in preventing underground utility damage.

By targeting a diverse audience, the IEUCC's billboard serves as a powerful tool to reinforce safe digging practices. Homeowners engaging in landscaping or construction projects will be reminded of the importance of contacting 811 to avoid potential hazards. Excavators, professional or amateur, will be encouraged to coordinate with utility companies before breaking ground. Facility operators responsible for managing underground infrastructure will be prompted to reinforce safe digging practices among their teams.

To learn more about the IEUCC and access their resources, visit

Kootenai County Utilities Council launches exciting damage prevention education effort

The Kootenai County Utilities Council and the Idaho Damage Prevention Board collaborated to promote safety and shared responsibility. They have released an infographic poster titled '811 Before You Dig' to educate professionals and homeowners. The poster features a QR code for easy access to state laws, emphasizes the waiting period and incorporates the APWA Color Code for utility identification. This initiative aims to minimize accidents, protect infrastructure and create a safer community.

Member Tools & Resources Feature Icon

Download the 8/11 Day Toolkit today!

Author: Kelly Cahill, CGA Communications Director

As we wrap up June, now is the time to start planning your press and social media outreach for 8/11 Day. CGA’s 2023 8/11 Day Toolkit is now available and features updated tools, templates and graphics to assist you with your Aug. 11 outreach.

Don’t forget to incorporate the new 811 tagline and animation into your safe excavation work this summer. You can download logos, taglines and animation files from the CGA website here.

And lastly, if severe weather or other disasters occur in your area this summer, CGA’s Incident and Disaster Response Toolkit features social media messages and graphics, PSA scripts and more to help you communicate through the recovery process.

Data & Technology Data & Technology Icon

2022 DIRT Report to be released this summer

Author: Steve Blaney, DIRT Program Manager

CGA’s Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) is the backbone of our industry’s efforts to reduce damages and create safer jobsites and communities. The annual DIRT Report’s analysis of how, when and why damages occur has created the framework for our “50 in 5” challenge to reduce damages by 50% over the next five years. We would like to thank those who contribute their data each year to help improve our recommendations, outreach and programs.

Later this summer, CGA will publish its 2022 DIRT Report along with a suite of outreach tools to help communicate the Report’s key findings and recommendations. As we strive to continually improve the quality of not only the DIRT Report but also all of CGA’s data and research products, we are exploring the creation of one or more indices of damage prevention performance in the U.S. Please review and share our current Request for Information with qualified practitioners.

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Damage Prevention Institute Update: Metric Reporting

Author: Sam Hall, CGA Vice President

There have been a lot of changes at the Damage Prevention Institute (DPI) over the past few months. We want to give you an update on our team and where we are with updating existing metrics. 

Since the DPI is new, we are at the very beginning stages of identifying the metrics that will support the vision of the DPI. The DPI is not focused on identifying which organizations are “good” or “bad” in the damage prevention industry:  DPI accreditation is intended to be much more than a tool for stakeholders to determine who they contract work with. Instead, our focus is to understand the barriers to good performance in damage prevention so we can influence positive changes across the industry. While DPI participants may use the information in DPI DIRT to assess the performance of vendors and customers, DPI accreditation does not certify organizations as qualified or safe.

Instead, the DPI is a system that supports identifying why and how organizations and stakeholder groups perform the way they do. For example, we want to explore questions like:

  • How do contracts influence damage prevention outcomes? 
  • How do procurement processes impact the damage prevention system?
  • What technologies and practices lead to better damage prevention outcomes?
  • How can changes in business processes drive reductions in damages?
  • How can stakeholder groups empower one another to support good performance?
  • How can organizations empower themselves to perform well?

The DPI Metrics Sub-committee is actively working to address these kinds of questions, and more. It is, of course, important not only to track damages but also to normalize them to ensure meaningful comparisons of performance. Therefore, the initial focus of the DPI’s metrics work is on tracking performance, and how we can use the answers to the above questions to create efficiencies in damage prevention.  The overarching mission of the DPI is to identify fundamental drivers of poor damage prevention outcomes and structural barriers to achieving better outcomes. In the spirit of shared accountability, we must look at how individual industry and stakeholder groups’ practices affect the damage prevention system as a whole.

Currently, only the excavator stakeholder group is required to submit metrics on a monthly basis. Excavators provide monthly work hours, which the DPI uses to calculate damages per 10,000 work hours. (Other stakeholder groups participating in the DPI submit damage and near miss data on a monthly basis, but are not currently required to submit metrics data.) With engagement of DPI participants, we are developing performance metrics for locators and facility owner/operators. As soon as those metrics are finalized, we will communicate with locators and owner/operators about how to submit data for the new metrics. 


  • If you are looking for more information about DPI metrics, see our website.
  • If you would like to check if your organization is active and in good standing, view our Accredited Organizations list that is updated every Friday. 
  • If you have questions about your organization's accreditation, or wish to participate in the pilot peer review process, please reach out to
  • If you wish to provide feedback about DPI enrollment, DIRT or metrics, please fill out our feedback form

CGA Joins OSHA Alliance to combat excavation and trenching safety hazards

Author: Kelly Cahill, CGA Communications Director

Last week, CGA joined several organizations in signing an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) aimed at improving the health and safety standards during trenching, excavation, and shoring. The agreement, Partners for Safe Trenching and Excavation Operations Alliance, unites trade groups, unions and the Department of Labor to protect workers from hazards by improving trenching and excavation practices.

“The Common Ground Alliance is proud to be a member of this group driving the effort to enhance key safety practices and programs around excavation,” said CGA President and CEO Sarah Magruder Lyle. “CGA’s member-driven mission is to protect utility and construction workers and the buried facilities around which they operate. We look forward to partnering with OSHA and the other members of the alliance to keep workers safe as they excavate, trench and shore to build and maintain the infrastructure Americans depend on every day.”

During this two-year agreement, CGA will work alongside OSHA and partner organizations including the North American Excavation Shoring Association (NAXSA), Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), Associated General Contractors (AGC), International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) and Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) to address the most pertinent safety issues facing the construction industry.

The initiative will focus on combating four of the leading hazards facing the construction industry, including falls, caught-in or caught-between, struck-by objects and electrocution. To address these challenges, the alliance will develop and deploy a variety of resources, including safety articles, worksite tours, educational training sessions featuring best practices in trenching and excavation, and more, all in multiple languages to ensure employees of all backgrounds can access this potentially life-saving information. The partnership will also encourage stakeholders to promote workplace equity and disseminate valuable worker safety and health information to achieve a wide-reaching impact on workers in the industry.

CGA is eager to be part of this partnership and share our damage prevention expertise, helping to equip industry stakeholders with the necessary knowledge to establish safety and health programs within their own organizations and ensure adherence to the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

As we strive toward our industry goal of reducing damages by 50% by 2028, we’re grateful for alliances like these that call attention to key safety challenges on the jobsite and make a positive impact on the safety of valued industry professionals. Learn more about the Partners for Safe Trenching and Excavation Operations Alliance here

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