Commission Recognized Best Practices

The arrival of warmer weather coincides with a significant increase in construction activity. To protect excavators and private citizens from injury and to guard the integrity of buried pipelines and other underground facilities, the Commission reminds all concerned to implement the best practices of the Common Ground Study and the four steps of the Dig Safely Campaign.

  • Call Before You Dig
  • Wait the Required Time in Your State for Operators to Mark Their Facilities
  • Observe Marks Indicating the Presence of Facilities When You Dig
  • Dig With Care-protect both yourself and the facilities where you are digging

We ask pipeline operators to undertake the following steps as part of their damage prevention efforts:

  • increasing their vigilance on right-of-way inspections
  • reviewing their own procedures for following up on locate requests
  • ensuring that operator employees and contract employees follow Best Practices
  • increasing outreach efforts to the excavator community during the spring season

Damage to underground facilities is usually preventable and most frequently occurs due to a breakdown in the damage prevention process. The responsibility for preventing excavation damage is shared by all stakeholders. One-call systems are at the heart of damage prevention. The one-call process allows operators with facilities in the vicinity of a proposed excavation site to mark the location of their equipment and facilities in advance of the excavation. With this knowledge, excavators can proceed safely with their job. These systems improve accuracy and consistency in shared information by providing a reliable and efficient way for excavators to notify facility owners/operators of planned excavations.

These best practices have been adopted by many professional associations including the Associated General Contractors, the National Utility Contractors Association, National Utility Locating Contractors Association and others in the damage prevention community.