Ear to the Ground - Spring 2015 - (Page 15)
B Y B E N H A M I LT O N , E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R , O N TA R I O O N E C A L L
Delivery of Locates
t February's ORCGA Annual Symposium, participants heard from excavators,
locators and Ontario One Call about the realities of locate delivery in Ontario.
With the full implementation of the Ontario Underground Infrastructure
Notification System Act in June 2014, ORCGA members have been interested to see
how the new regime would unfold and how quickly they would see the legislated
mandate of five business day locates.
Speaking from the excavator perspective, Avertex Utility Solutions spoke about
some of the initial challenges they have seen in 2014. Of greatest concern was the
wide variance in timely locate delivery. When they do not receive all of the locates
within the five day timeframe, they are at risk of missing tight client deadlines and
paying contractual liquidated damages. Late locates also make it extremely challenging to schedule crews appropriately, and that has a knock-on effect on other projects
as well. Even from the infrastructure owners' perspective, late locates put them in a
situation where their own locates might expire and they are forced to provide costly
remarks. When even one locate is late both excavators and infrastructure owners lose.
G-Tel Engineering talked about the significant increase in locate volumes they
experienced in 2014: 50% growth in the last five years, and 10% growth in 2014
alone. This rapid growth in workload has stretched the resources of locate service
providers and put more pressure on their ability to recruit, train and retain qualified
staff. Locator workloads are also impacted by a number of abusive actions, including
the abuse of the emergency locate process and the inappropriate use of locates for
pre-engineering work. Successfully coping with higher volumes also needs greater
collaboration between excavators and locators, especially as it pertains to negotiating
dates and preventing the need for re-marks.
Ontario One Call spoke about the formation of its Compliance Committee, a key
component of enforcing the provisions of the new law. Established at the end of 2014,
the Committee contains representatives from both excavators and Ontario One Call
members. This innovative, self-directed model of enforcement allows the participants
in the One Call system to govern their own compliance with the law, without having
to rely on outside parties.
When looking at compliance, Ontario One Call takes a "macro" perspective. As the
central point for receiving and dispatching almost one million excavation requests each
year, enforcement is based on numerous offences over a sustained period of time. As
opposed to other regulators, the focus is not on field investigations of specific incidents.
Such an approach allows the Compliance Committee to identify the worst systematic
offenders and push them towards full compliance with the law. It also creates a "no
surprises" basis for Ontario One Call's compliance approach.
What is clear is that every part of the One Call system - excavators, infrastructure
owners, locators and regulators - have a huge role to play in the success of the new
law, and that each need to work together to achieve the full benefits of the mandatory
system that ORCGA and its members have worked so hard to achieve.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ear to the Ground - Spring 2015
2015 Dig Safe Symposium Awards
Damage Prevention and Innovation
High Pressure Transmission Pipeline Safety
Delivery of Locates in Ontario
ORCGA's Damage Prevention Technician, DPT Program
Ice Storm 2013: We Have the Power to Survive
Our Industry is Constantly Changing
Index of Advertisers
Ear to the Ground - Spring 2015