Report finds utility damages down nationwide

February 2009 Vol. 64 No.2

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) announced findings from its fourth annual Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report, which calculated approximately 256,000 underground utility damages for 2007, a figure significantly less than the original estimate provided in 2004.

Based on this new figure, there were roughly 700 incidents per day nationwide in 2007, compared to the more than 1,100 per day as estimated for 2004, representing a 40 percent decline in underground utility damages that have the potential to cause injury or loss of life.

Several factors that likely led to the 2007 reduction in damages include stakeholder support and promotion of the national call-before-you-dig number – 811 - that launched in May 2007, Regional CGA efforts, implementation of CGA Best Practices, and the use of new and proven technologies by excavators and locators.

The DIRT Report was created in 2004 as part of CGA’s continuing mission to identify the contributing factors and root causes of underground utility damages and near misses, with the ultimate goal of reducing the occurrence of these incidents in the future.

A full 2007 DIRT Report is available for download at www.commongroundalliance.com, and stakeholders interested in submitting data to the 2008 report or establishing a Virtual Private Dirt account should visit the DIRT site at www.damagereporting.org.