Stakeholders

Damage prevention is a shared responsibility. Stakeholders are mutually dependent upon the successful execution of one another’s roles in the overall process.

The basic premise of a good and effective Damage Prevention Process is that all operators of buried utilities are registered with the one-call centre and that it is always best to “Call or Click Before You Dig”. The exchange of accurate and timely information during the process, together with a genuine interest by all stakeholders in a successful outcome is critical.

Each stakeholder group in the damage prevention process has roles and responsibilities which, when recognized, accepted and fulfilled, will enhance the process and have a positive impact on worker safety, public safety, protection of the environment and preservation of the integrity of buried infrastructure.

One-Call Centres

The primary function of the one-call centre includes communication, education and advocacy. It should:

  • Provide a dependable, cost-effective communication service between those who intend to disturb the ground and the operators of buried utilities potentially affected by a proposed ground disturbance.
  • Develop, implement and maintain operating procedures that incorporate best practices, accommodate specific jurisdictional requirements and balance the needs, wants and desires of the stakeholder groups.
  • Function as the interface between the digging community and the operators of buried utilities.
  • Promote the identification, validation and adoption of damage prevention best practices.
  • Facilitate the evolution and improvement of the damage prevention process.
  • Undertake educational, public awareness and damage prevention programs.
  • Foster cooperation and collaboration among all stakeholders in the damage prevention process.
  • Develop and manage a province-wide database of damage incident statistics.
  • Support and participate in damage prevention organizations and initiatives.

Regulatory Agencies

Regulatory agencies have the authority, responsibility and obligation to enforce regulations and ensure compliance. With respect to the damage prevention process, the regulatory agencies should:

  • Recognize, accept and promote to the other stakeholders that the prevention of damage to buried utilities will have a positive impact on worker safety, public safety, protection of the environment and preservation of the integrity of society’s essential buried infrastructure.
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements through active education and enforcement programs.
  • Cooperate and collaborate with the other stakeholder groups to develop regulatory requirements that are fair, reasonable, based on best practices, compatible with industry best practices and acceptable to all the stakeholder groups.
  • Support and participate in damage prevention organizations and initiatives.

Utility Operators

The operators of buried utilities have an obligation to provide sufficient information to anyone undertaking a ground disturbance to allow the ground disturber to complete his or her work safely and in compliance with governing regulations.

The operators of buried utilities should:

  • Install utilities in accordance with best practices and governing regulations.
  • Ensure their buried utilities are locatable.
  • Maintain spatially accurate and up-to-date as-built records of both live and abandoned utilities.
  • Correct records when errors are found.
  • Generate a respect for the integrity of their utilities on the part of the digging community by being active participants in the damage prevention process.
  • Make the prevention of future damage to their buried utilities a criterion in their:
    • design process,
    • installation process,
    • records management process,
    • claims process and
    • purchases of construction and locating services.
  • Adopt best practices related to damage prevention.
  • Develop an awareness of and respect for the digging community’s concerns and the constraints under which the digging community does business.
  • Respond to locate requests in a timely manner.
  • Ensure locators are competent.
  • Ensure locates are documented.
  • Audit the performance of contract locators, if used, and employee locators.
  • Conduct root cause analyses on all damage incidents.
  • Submit damage incident reports to the province-wide database.
  • Be proactive in Damage Prevention Process educational activities.
  • Register with the one-call centre.
  • Cooperate with the other stakeholders in the Damage Prevention Process and support and participate in damage prevention organizations and initiatives.

Locators

By the nature of their role in the damage prevention process, locators can have a significant influence on the success of a ground disturbance. The key elements of a “good” locate are:

  • Adequate training.
  • Suitable equipment.
  • Adequate records.
  • Adequate time.

If any one or more of these elements is missing, the quality of the locate will suffer. Locators have an obligation to provide sufficient information to anyone undertaking a ground disturbance to allow the ground disturber to complete his or her work safely and in compliance with the governing regulations.

Locators should:

  • Understand the nature, purpose and scope of a proposed ground disturbance.
  • Identify and mark the locations of all utilities, potentially in conflict with a proposed ground disturbance, in accordance with governing regulations, industry practice and best practices.
  • Mark the locations of buried utilities adequately to show the horizontal alignment.
  • Advise the ground disturber of any special conditions, concerns or requirements.
  • Provide documentation of the locates performed to the ground disturber.
  • Ensure locate documentation is adequate to allow the re-establishment of the locate marks.
  • Ensure that the ground disturber understands the locates, their limitations and the documentation.
  • Perform locates safely.
  • Report any record errors found to the operator of the buried utility.
  • Recognize and accept that they have three sets of customers to satisfy:
    • the operators of the buried utilities,
    • the digging community and
    • the one-call centre.
  • Support and participate in damage prevention organizations and initiatives.

CGA Regional Partners

Digging Community

The digging community comprises anyone who engages in, or is responsible for, a ground disturbance including, but not limited to:

  • Homeowners
  • Farmers
  • Equipment operators
  • Excavation contractors
  • Home builders
  • Landscapers
  • Land surveyors
  • Developers
  • Municipalities

The ultimate decision whether or not a backhoe’s bucket teeth penetrate the ground, rests with the operator of the backhoe. If the operator is not aware of what buried utilities are in the area of the ground disturbance, and exactly where they are, before disturbing the ground, there is a great risk of damage to buried utilities and dangerous consequences to people.