New effort would reduce damages to underground infrastructure and significantly increase efficiencies across the U.S. damage prevention system  

WASHINGTON – Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities, and the Gold Shovel Association (GSA), a nonprofit association focused on continuously improving safety by providing meaningful damage prevention certifications and standardized performance metrics, today announced they will explore establishing a new arm of CGA that will integrate GSA into the organization in a continued and combined effort to reduce damages to critical underground infrastructure and protect those who work and live near these important assets.

The collective industry commitment of both associations is expected to further the ongoing, common focus on lowering damages, and will provide an opportunity to take damage prevention to the next level. Building on CGA’s Best Practices and foundational DIRT (Damage Information Reporting Tool) data, and GSA’s metrics development, this newly created branch will amplify the efforts of the associations’ collective mission of reducing damages to buried utilities, which cost the U.S. and approximate $30 billion annually.

“Damage prevention is unquestionably a shared responsibility, and CGA and GSA are committed to working together to reduce damages across the industry. Engaging members in both organizations will ensure that we proceed in lockstep to do what is best for the damage prevention industry as a whole,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, CGA president and CEO. “We are excited to continue exploring the development of this new segment of CGA, and look forward to sharing more information with our members.”

“The Gold Shovel Association is pleased to bring its excavation and pre-excavation metrics together with CGA’s robust research and data assets to ensure safety at every step in the damage prevention process,” said Cheryl Campbell, vice chair of the Gold Shovel Association board of directors. “Our work together will allow us to focus on addressing challenges across the damage prevention process.”

The collective knowledge and industry commitment of both associations is expected to further an ongoing common focus on reducing damages to the critical underground infrastructure that communities depend on every day.

About Common Ground Alliance

CGA is a member-driven association of more than 1,800 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. CGA has established itself as the preeminent source of damage prevention data and information in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at http://www.commongroundalliance.com.

About Gold Shovel Association

The Gold Shovel Association is a member-driven, non-profit organization with more than 1,600 members who are committed to improving workforce and public safety by reducing damages to underground utility infrastructure. The Association facilitates continuous safety improvement and reduces environmental harm by providing meaningful damage prevention certifications and standardized performance metrics. Learn more about the Gold Shovel Association and its signature certification program, the Gold Shovel Standard, at goldshovelstandard.org.

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