In 1999, the U.S. DOT’s Office of Pipeline Safety undertook a first-ever study to determine the best practices in damage prevention.
Now referred to as the Common Ground Best Practices Guide, the initial study included more than 160 professionals from the railroad, telecommunications, construction, gas and oil pipeline, engineering, electric, water sewer and locating industries. Local, state and federal government agencies were also included, making it unprecedented in scope and mission from participants in the public and private sectors.
The purpose of this study was to gather and assess information from the existing one-call notification system and facility damage prevention practices. The Best Practices Guide, now in its 17th iteration, identifies practices as most effective in the prevention of damage and loss to underground facilities and utilities while protecting the public, excavators and the environment. Experts in damage prevention determine these best practices, with continued improvements and advancements on a regular basis.
These findings have been published in a report titled Common Ground Study of One-Call Systems and Damage Prevention Best Practices. It is available in hard copy or online. It’s also important that all stakeholders receive the most up-to-date version of the Best Practices Guide.
Damage prevention stakeholders use the guide as a training tool regarding the best practices for improvement of overall one-call system and damage prevention performance.
The most current guide features 161 best practices. Overall, the guide has been distributed more than 200,000 times over the past 20+ years.
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