Canadian Common Ground Alliance

Damage Prevention is a Shared Responsibility



Damage Prevention Issues of National Interest

The CCGA has identified the following Damage Prevention Issues of National Interest:

  • Simplified Access to One Call Centres and the Damage Prevention Process - ACHIEVED
  • Best Practice Harmonization - ACHIEVED
  • One Call Systems Serving all of Canada
  • Damage Prevention Legislation and Meaningful Enforcement of same
  • DIRT For Canada

Simplified Access to One Call Centres and the Damage Prevention Process

Working closely with the Canadian One Call Centres Committee, the CCGA unveiled, a national web portal to initiate the damage prevention process in 2014. The portal was expanded in October 2015 to include access to One-Call services across the United States. The portal provides a much-needed North American "one-window" and promotional methodology aimed at increasing damage prevention awareness and triggering the damage prevention process.

Best Practice Harmonization

Damage prevention Best Practices developed across the country as Regional Partnerships emerged and evolved. As a result, Best Practices began to vary from one Regional Partner to the next. In 2014, the CCGA established a Task Force to harmonize these Regional Best Practices into one document. The CCGA Harmonized Best Practices were unveiled and released in October 2014. 

One Call Systems Serving all of Canada

The Damage Prevention Process begins with a call to determine the location of buried utilities. Unfortunately, this process is significantly more difficult if there is no One Call System serving the area. The CCGA is working with the Regional Partners of the Common Ground Alliance in Canada to address this issue and help secure One Call access for all Canadians. 

Damage Prevention Legislation and Meaningful Enforcement of Same

One Call legislation requiring all underground infrastructure owners and operators to register their buried plant with a One Call centre, and all ground disturbers to request a locate before conducting a ground disturbance, does not currently exist across Canada. Due to the multiple jurisdictions governing buried utilities, achieving this goal will take time and effort but the benefits to public and community safety are easily recognized.

Although some legislation exists that requires buried utilities to be located and marked prior to ground disturbance does exist under several regulatory authorities (federal and provincial) across Canada, there is little regulatory alignment among them; and, meaningful enforcement of these laws is either limited, secluded or altogether absent. While the CCGA agrees that public awareness, education and advocacy are a primary tool to prevent damage to buried utilities and promote community safety, it also believes that meaningful enforcement and penalties are also necessary as effective damage prevention tools.

DIRT For Canada

Reporting damages into the Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) is critical for the CCGA to determine the root causes of those damages and develop mitigating measures to reduce and eliminate them. As of 2015, only four Regional Partners are entering damage data into DIRT and the data quality still need to improve for the CCGA to glean societal cost information.

In 2016, the CCGA’s goals relative to DIRT are:

  • further promote reporting of damage into DIRT
  • expand the number of reports from participating Regions and confirm reporting from Regions that have yet to do so;
  • enhance the data quality index of all damage reports; and
  • roll-out the societal cost tool to all Regional Partners in Canada.

Marketing & Education Committee

The Marketing & Education Committee is responsible for the planning, coordination, and execution of the annual Damage Prevention Symposium (DPS), as well as messaging for Dig Safe Month and social media.

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