Communities

Communities

Gold Shovel Standard Communities are a geographic area or region where partnerships happen that reduce the risk of damages to buried assets found there, preventing life-threatening damages. Networks traversing Gold Shovel Standard Communities are expected to be at reduced risk from line strikes.

It was a long-standing practice for the problem of line strikes to be the sole responsibility of the owner of the damaged infrastructure, leaving damage reduction to the utilities involved.

Gold Shovel Standard Communities flip that paradigm, and embrace the recognition that partnerships between asset owners hold the key to driving damage reductions.

Partners in a Gold Shovel Standard Community view damage to any infrastructure as damage to all infrastructure.

In Gold Shovel Standard Communities, excavation work is reserved for those demonstrating excellence in caution around buried infrastructure. In a Gold Shovel Standard Community, permits and right-of-way grants for projects with excavation are typically reserved for those demonstrating caution.

One of the repeated goals of the organization is that more than half of North American municipalities rely on GSS certification and metrics when hiring, establishing or renewing franchise rights and offering permits by the end of 2025.

The health of a community can be measured by the safety and reliability of its infrastructure, including key buried assets. People deserve to live and work in communities that provide safe and reliable services, and the integrity of buried infrastructure is a key component of delivering that promise. A Gold Shovel Standard Community is a geographic area dedicated to reducing the risk of damages to buried assets and preventing life-threatening damages through innovative partnerships.

Case Study – 38% Reduction in Third-Party Damages

In less than 33 months, Gold Shovel Standard member Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), saw a 38% reduction in third-party line strikes, through its partnerships to establish a Gold Shovel Standard Community in the Sacramento, California region.

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Read the article in Sacramento City Express


The Need For Standardized Metrics

The Need For Standardized Metrics

Dramatic reductions in the frequency of line strikes will remain elusive unless all parties continuously improve and measurements underpin continuous improvement. Standardizing the measurement process is an overdue first step to drive performance improvement and increase public and workforce safety. To achieve this ambitious plan, Gold Shovel Standard is working with balanced teams of damage prevention experts to draft, refine and broadly deploy damage prevention metrics for all stakeholders.

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Third-Party Damage Reductions and Communities

Third-Party Damage Reductions and Communities

“Everybody’s third-party is somebody’s second-party.” Reducing line strikes associated with small excavators and third-parties persists as the top priority for all stakeholders in damage prevention. These are difficult reductions to influence, and yet they represent the single biggest risk to safety associated with excavation damage. Gold Shovel Standard Communities are novel and ambitious partnerships to attack this persistent and difficult challenge.

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ShovelSafe™

ShovelSafe™

Increasing safety is impossible without the right tools. Gold Shovel Standard provides world-class technology to drive continuous improvement that reduces damages and increases public and workforce safety. Gold Shovel Standard’s ShovelSafe technology puts damages prevention at the fingertips of business leaders, giving them the tools to drive continuous performance improvement. ShovelSafe is world-class technology for analyzing and tracking damage prevention performance.

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Safety Management Systems (SMS)

Safety Management Systems (SMS)

Pursuing the industry-wide goal of zero incidents requires comprehensive, systematic use of Safety Management Systems. Pipeline and other energy companies, and along with the regulatory community have recognized the critical importance of SMS. Broad adoption of Damage Prevention-Safety Management Systems (DP-SMS), which are safety management systems specifically tailored for damage prevention is a necessary ingredient to achieve that industry-wide goal of zero incidents.

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