Underground Construction - November 2019 - 19

CGA DIRT Report Shows Excavation
Damages Increased in 2018
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the stakeholder-driven
organization dedicated to protecting underground utility lines,
people who dig near them and their communities, recently
announced its findings from the 2018 Damage Information
Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report.
The report, which analyzes all 2018 data submitted anonymously and voluntarily by facility operators, utility locating companies,
one call centers, contractors, regulators and others, used a refined
statistical modeling process to estimate that 509,000 excavation-related damages to underground facilities occurred in 2018,
compared to the 2017 estimate of 439,000 damages.
CGA, working with statistical analysis consultant Green
Analytics, also found that damages per 1,000 One Call Center
transmissions (the total number of times a "call before you dig"
center notified a member utility of someone's intent to dig)
increased slightly from 2017 to 2018, along with a similarly small
increase in damages per million dollars of construction spending.
While these increases are noteworthy, it's important to frame
them in the context of more than a decade of mostly year-overyear decreases in estimated damages during the past 15 years,
dating back to the first DIRT Report in 2004.
Among all damage reports with an identified and known root
cause, the top reported root cause category in the 2018 DIRT
Report was "excavation issue." This encompasses a variety of
reported process problems, including excavating prior to verifying
marks by test-hole, excavating with faded or unmaintained utility
marks, and excavating with mechanized equipment within a "hand
dig" zone, just to name a few.

Root cause categories
The 2018 DIRT Report identified the following root cause categories
for all reported damages with an identified and known root cause:
* Excavation issues - 31 percent
* Notification not made - 23 percent
* Locating issues - 21 percent
* Other notification issue - 13 percent
For the second consecutive year, the DIRT Report includes analysis of when damages occur, by month and day of the week. These
findings are a helpful tool to damage prevention stakeholders who
are looking for the most strategic times to share important safety
messages with professional excavators and the general digging
public. Specifically, the report found the following:
* The month with the most damages nationwide in 2018
was August, with 36,571 reported events in DIRT
(11 percent of all reported events).
* October 2018 was the month with the second-most
reported damages, with 32,886 reported events in DIRT
(10 percent of all reported events), as daylight waned,
and colder weather approached in most of the country.

* Wednesday was the day of the week in 2018 when
damages were most likely to occur, with 19.7 percent
of reported events occurring mid-week.
"Damage prevention stakeholders will continue to be up against
familiar challenges - increased construction spending, labor
shortages, new infrastructure buildouts for fiber-to-the-premises
and 5G technology," said Sarah Magruder Lyle, president and CEO
of CGA. "The analysis included in the DIRT Report, in conjunction
with the use of CGA Best Practices and collaborative efforts to
educate on the importance of calling 811 prior to digging, provides
stakeholders with the tools needed to make damage prevention
programs more effective."
CGA has produced an interactive DIRT Dashboard accessible to
the public through its website, allowing users to view and query
the data through the lens of a specific element, such as on a state
level or for certain utility or excavation types. This dashboard
features a series of graphs and other visual tools to allow users to
identify areas where they can have the biggest positive impact.
"While the DIRT Report provides the most comprehensive data
and analysis on underground utility damage, it's only as strong
as the data we receive," said Deanna Centurion, co-chair of CGA's
Data Reporting and Evaluation Committee and principal at Cyera
Strategies. "We encourage all damage prevention stakeholders to
voluntarily submit data for 2019 to help make next year's report
even stronger."
The complete DIRT Annual Report for 2018 is available for
download at commongroundalliance.com; stakeholders interested
in submitting data to the 2019 report or establishing a Virtual
Private Dirt account should visit cga-dirt.com.
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. *
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Common Ground Alliance, commongroundalliance.com

UConOnline.com | NOVEMBER 2019

19


http://www.commongroundalliance.com http://www.cga-dirt.com http://www.commongroundalliance.com http://www.UConOnline.com

Underground Construction - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Underground Construction - November 2019

Contents
Underground Construction - November 2019 - FC
Underground Construction - November 2019 - IFC
Underground Construction - November 2019 - Contents
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 4
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 5
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 6
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 7
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 8
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 9
Underground Construction - November 2019 - 10
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Underground Construction - November 2019 - IBC
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