Common Ground Alliance Issues Inaugural Report Examining Advancements and Gaps in Underground Safety Technology

In conjunction with its annual Excavation Safety Conference & Expo, the first-of-its-kind damage prevention report aims to inspire further development of industry technologies

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the stakeholder-driven organization dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them, and their communities, recently issued its first-ever Technology Report detailing the state of current and emergent technologies available to the damage prevention industry in conjunction with the opening of its annual Excavation Safety Conference & Expo in Phoenix, Ariz.

Based on responses from a survey of CGA’s membership, the organization’s Technology Committee, which is charged with driving the industry to develop and utilize technologies that will decrease the probability or consequences of excavation damages, authored the inaugural version of what will become an annual report.

Available for download on its website (, CGA’s Technology Advancements and Gaps in Underground Safety report provides an overview of current technologies available in every sector of damage prevention: locating, excavating, one call, imaging, pipeline data acquisition, data management and visualization, GIS/GPS/mapping, predictive analytics/risk assessment, mobile data collection, training/education and public awareness.

In addition to highlighting currently used damage prevention technologies, CGA’s Technology Report also identifies available technologies that could have damage prevention applications, as well as gaps in damage prevention technology, with the goal of inspiring innovation in this important area of public safety. It concludes with three case studies that share the successes of those deploying new damage prevention technologies.

The Technology Report is being made available to the more than 800 damage prevention advocates gathering in Phoenix for a multi-day conference and expo at which many of the cutting-edge industry technologies will be on display. In addition to each of CGA’s committees holding meetings, the CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo will feature several days of educational sessions on every facet of damage prevention, as well as an annual meeting of CGA’s membership that will feature a keynote from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Administrator Howard “Skip” Elliott.

“Our inaugural Technology Report joins our Best Practices Guide and annual DIRT Report as an important resource in advancing our shared goal of zero damages to buried infrastructure,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, president and CEO of CGA. “Stakeholders in every facet of damage prevention can reference this new report to assess existing technologies that they may be able to apply to their particular segment of the safe digging process. The report provides technology developers with an opportunity to examine areas where there are market opportunities for new solutions, and we hope they’ll work towards developing partnerships and advanced technologies that the industry is asking for.”

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“We’ve worked diligently with CGA members and other stakeholders to make our first Technology Advancements and Gaps in Underground Safety report a thorough accounting of the state of damage prevention technology,” said Thomas Young, Technology Committee co-chair from SeeScan. “The CGA Technology Committee encourages stakeholders to continue submitting information to us via our always-open survey so we can refine and improve the report annually.”

CGA’s complete Technology Advancements and Gaps in Underground Safety report is available for download at

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