Gold Shovel Standard has empowered a series of independent committees to create recommendations that drive public and workforce safety.

GSS could not continue to work for a safer North America without the generous and inspired help of the individuals who make up our many committees and pilot teams.

Excavation Committee

The focus of the Excavation Committee includes the damage prevention program certification requirements and process, excavation metrics, and program integrity. This committee developed the excavation metrics in use, and monitors the current state-of-the-art safety management systems, metrics usage, and practices surrounding the integrity of the GSS program requirements for excavators, and makes recommendations regarding potential improvements to the program.

Co-Chairs: Michael Robirds (; Stuart Buhrendorf (

Members: Mark Borges (; Jeff Boss; Andrew Brooks (; Chris Dombrowicki (; Tom Kaczmarski (; Kevin Miller (; Pete Moriarty (; Steven Perkins ( ;Jeffrey Schmidt (; Jemmie Wang (; Sage Babin (; Gus Chapman (; Mike Barringer (

Gold Shovel Liaisons: Mel Christopher (; Greg Lovett (; Beth Stevens (

Pre-Excavation Damage Prevention Metrics Committee

Gold Shovel Standard believes that no significant reduction in damages will be achieved unless all responsible parties (owner / operators, excavators, locators) continually improve, and measurements underpin improvement.

Metrics for all stakeholders have been part of the GSS vision from the onset. The Pre-Excavation Damage Prevention Metrics Committee is tasked with establishing measurements for owner / operators and the locators that they employ.

Consistent measurements for Pre-Excavation are difficult and must be representative of the quality of services provided by in-house staff or contracted damage prevention services, and are representative of the timeliness of the services provided. Pre-Excavation metrics must also be scalable for locate companies both large and small to help them better manage their businesses.



Erich Metzger
Director of Safety & Quality Assurance



Andrew Brooks
Damage Prevention Manager


Jim Collins
Manager, Damage Prevention


Rick Elkin

John Phillips
Associate VP, Safety & Training


Troy Dow
Divisional Vice President



Sean Nichols



Dwayne Olivieri
Supervisor, Damage Prevention


Ryan Dove


Ryan Morgan

Alexander Murray
Administrator, Damage Prevention


Brian Dreesen
Director, Mid-Central Region



Eric Swartley
Sr. Manager Pipeline and Public Safety



Thurman Smith



Randy Bern




Scott Brown
Manager, Damage Prevention



Anthony Headley
VP, Safety



Gold Shovel Liaisons

Mel Christopher
Executive Director

Greg Lovett

Dave Mauerman

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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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. ShovelSafe from Oropala 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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