Utilities, Pipeline, Telecom
“Everybody’s third-party is some else’s second party.”
For decades, buried-asset owners have struggled with reducing damages to their infrastructure done by “third party” contractors. Gold Shovel Standard is an ambitious partnership to drive a reduction in all damages, but especially these “third-party” damages.
Becoming a member of Gold Shovel Standard is an effective and inexpensive and an effective way to reduce line strikes to critical infrastructure.
Gold Shovel Standard is easy to adopt with existing resources, and the costs are minimal. The program does the most significant part of the work on behalf of the member company.
Organizations can implement Gold Shovel Standard regardless of size, use internal employees or contractors, or whether they are public or private entities.
Gold Shovel Standard helps municipalities reduce damages to buried assets — saving lives, maximizing commerce, and avoiding wasteful use of municipal resources. Damages to city infrastructure have a wide range of impacts, almost always negative. Strikes to gas and pipelines can injure or kill residents; strikes to electric lines can injure or kill workers and throw sections of the city into darkness; telecommunications line strikes can separate the public from life-saving necessities like first responders or police.
Gold Shovel Standard is easy to adopt with existing resources. The program does the majority of the work, the main contribution of municipalities being their commitment to embrace the program for the benefit of their residents and businesses. Most municipalities can take the initial steps towards full Gold Shovel Standard implementation with little difficulty, regardless of whether they operate under federal or state statutes, or under city ordinances derived from the city’s charter and city council. Most municipalities will begin with the most straightforward items and roll out the program over time.
While infrastructure owners and cities can become members of the Gold Shovel Association, excavators generally participate in the program. Gold Shovel Standard certification is a widely-recognized indication of increased safety awareness and a commitment to continuous damage prevention improvement. Excavators that participate in the Gold Shovel Standard program rely on technology from Oropala Services to measure safety and efficacy, and can present hard data to support their positive reputation.
Gold Shovel Standard believes that industry will struggle to achieve a significant reduction in damages until all responsible parties (operators, excavators, locators) continuously improve and that measurements underpin continuous improvement.
Locate-and-mark companies are encouraged to become part of the GSS community to join an ever-increasing public commitment to transparency and shared performance metrics.