National Damage Prevention Initiatives

In 1999, an unprecedented study was conducted to determine Best Practices of Damage Prevention. The US DOT’s Office of Pipeline Safety organized the Study, now referred to as the Common Ground Best Practices Study. Over 160 individuals, representing the telecommunication, railroad, construction, gas and oil pipeline, engineering, electric, water and sewer, locating, and other industries took part in the study, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies. The process was unprecedented in scope and mission in that it was orchestrated by government and implemented by representatives of the private sector.

On-line Version of CGA Best Practices Printable Version of CGA Best Practices
CGA Best Practices 15.0

The purpose of the Study was to gather and assess information to determine the best of existing one-call notification system and underground facility damage prevention practices. The best practices are recognized by experts in damage prevention to be most effective in preventing damage to underground facilities and protecting the public, excavators, and the environment. The findings of the Study have been published in a report, “Common Ground Study of One-Call Systems and Damage Prevention Best Practices.” The Report is available in hard copy or on-line in a variety of electronic formats, and can be used to inform all damage prevention stakeholders about the best practices for improvement of overall one-call system and damage prevention performance.

Dig Safely Campaign


In November 2003, the CGA launched DIRT, a secure web application for the collection and reporting of underground damage information.

Dig Safely is an educational effort to promote excavation damage prevention. The campaign has advertising documents that can be used for producing billboards, pamphlets, and other printed material for the purpose of promoting excavation damage prevention. Please visit for more information on Dig Safely.

Call 811 to Dig Safely

 Make the Call

 Wait the Required Time

 Respect the Marks

 Dig with Care

Common Ground Alliance

The Common Ground Alliance is a national, private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the shared responsibility in damage prevention and promotion of the damage prevention Best Practices identified in the Common Ground Study Report. Building on the spirit of shared responsibility resulting from the Common Ground Study, the purpose of the CGA is to ensure public safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of services by promoting effective damage prevention practices. The CGA shares many of the same goals as Missouri Common Ground. Missouri Common Ground became a Regional Partner of the CGA in 2002.