Common Ground Alliance Wins National Safety Council’s Green Cross for Safety Advocate Award

WASHINGTON (May 29, 2018) – Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the stakeholder-driven organization dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them, and their communities, is proud to announce that it was the recipient of the National Safety Council’s Green Cross for Safety Advocate Award at an awards ceremony in Chicago on Wednesday night.

The National Safety Council is the leading organization that works to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road.

CGA drafted and submitted an awards entry in partnership with the American Gas Association (AGA) and United States Department of Transportation’s Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), both long-term partners in working to reduce excavation-related damage to underground infrastructure.

The National Safety’s Council’s Safety Advocate Award recognizes those who have made a significant impact on safety by raising awareness and bringing about change.

“Our award winners recognize that safety is a journey rather than a destination,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council. “These individuals and organizations constantly ask, ‘What more can we do?’ We are proud to honor the winners and to recognize all the outstanding nominees that share the Council’s goal of eliminating preventable deaths and injuries in our lifetime.”

CGA’s awards entry focused on the long-term behavioral change that began across the entire United States with the launch of 811 in 2007 as the Federal Communications Commission-designated national “call before you dig” phone number. Prior to 2007, each state had at least one distinct phone number for pre-excavation notification, which prevented a unified national effort to promote the importance of learning the approximate location of buried utilities before digging.

CGA, AGA and PHMSA highlighted how annual increases in earned media exposure about 811 and annual visits to coincided with a major increase in national general public awareness of 811 from around 20 percent in 2008 to nearly 50 percent in 2017.

The awards entry also outlined the reduction in annual estimated utility damage/near-miss events by more than 50 percent during the same time span. The 811 campaign has not only raised awareness, but it has also changed behavior and directly saved lives.

“Earning this Safety Advocate Award from the National Safety Council is additional validation that the work our 1,700 members perform each day to prevent damage to underground infrastructure is critically important,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, President and CEO of CGA. “This award highlights a very crucial piece of our safety message – while our stakeholders work diligently to prevent damages to underground infrastructure, we want to ensure that every professional excavator goes home safe to their families each night. Additionally, this award recognizes that 811 has played a critical role in raising awareness among homeowners of the call before you dig process and helping to keep communities safe and connected. CGA and its members will continue to work diligently to reduce the number of these events in the years to come.”

To learn more about the National Safety Council’s Green Cross Awards program, please visit

About CGA 

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

About the National Safety Council

The National Safety Council ( is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

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