Excavator Benefits: Competitiveness, Reputation, Cost Savings, Technology and Expert Consulting

Gold Shovel Standard works tirelessly to provide the highest impact, lowest burden program to drive excavation safety. Every subscription includes world-class damage prevention consulting, an innovative technology suite to support success, and the reputation enhancement associated with the Gold Shovel Standard brand.

“…Gold Shovel Standard is a great idea for any company that performs excavation work.”

“I am very passionate about Gold Shovel Standard. I spend all my time on safety and know that it’s important to do whatever it takes.”

“The benefit of obtaining the Gold Shovel Certification says a lot about the way a company carries out their day to day operational practices regarding safety and compliancy.”

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A level playing field is about fairness. It’s about competing in an environment where each excavator has an equal chance to succeed, and where all excavators are playing by the same set of rules. For decades, the absence of a level playing field penalized excavators that play by the rules and caused those companies to lose business to competitors that made minimal investments in damage prevention. Gold Shovel Standard levels the playing field, and allows for fair competition for contracts. GSS creates the environment where excavators can be rewarded for investing in damage prevention.


Gold Shovel Standard certification is a widely-recognized indication of increased safety awareness and a commitment to continuous damage prevention improvement. Excavators within Gold Shovel Standard rely on Gold Shovel Standard technology to measure safety and efficacy and are able to present hard data to support their positive reputation.

Cost Savings

Investing in safety saves money. Gold Shovel Standard is the fastest, most effective way to get the returns that come from investing in safety. GSS is streamlined to help excavators perfect their operations and capture the financial benefits of doing so, without major investments to achieve that success. Gold Shovel Standard is easy to implement and includes the necessary help to accomplish certification and implement the program into operations.

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Participation in Gold Shovel Standard includes proprietary software from Oropala Services. Oropala’s proprietary ShovelSafe technology allows users to track damages, analyze trends within their operations, gauge performance for individual clients, and compare performance history against industry averages based on location, type of client, or individual task. Excavators can better protect their workforce, and save time and money, by integrating these tools into their operations.

Excavators participating in Gold Shovel Standard agree to track, analyze and measure damage prevention performance. ShovelSafe is world-class software to enable excavators to do that. For an overview of how to use ShovelSafe technology, or to schedule a demonstration, please call (855) 676-7252.

Expert Consulting

The process of Gold Shovel Standard membership starts with a gap analysis of current Damage Prevention-Safety Management Systems (DP-SMS). Some companies may already have a complete DP-SMS, while others may need to build one from scratch. This gap analysis will help identify any gaps that might exist. Whether a minor adjustment or a major overhaul is revealed by the gap analysis, GSS will next help develop participants develop an appropriate DP-SMS which is tailored to the company’s operations.

Furthermore, at any time, Gold Shovel Standard staff is available to aid any program participant with questions about damage prevention. The GSS community of damage prevention experts provide world-class damage prevention consulting to subscribers and no additional cost. Gold Shovel Standard consultants will also review and recommend the many software tools included with GSS certification that help excavation businesses run more safely and efficiently.

Enrollment Process

The enrollment process is streamlined and straightforward. The process starts by registering on the Gold Shovel Standard Website, and the software will then walk users through the process.

While there are entities which offer services in the marketplace to help excavation companies enroll in Gold Shovel Standard, those same services are available directly from the program, and are included as part of every subscription to Oropala Services at no additional cost.


Gold Shovel Standard is absolutely committed to minimizing the burden the program places on excavators, and maximizing the benefits of participation.

Participation in GSS will not slow production rate and should never involve added head-count to administer the program.

Program participants purchase a subscription directly from Oropala Services, and costs range from $75 to $200 monthly, paid on an annual basis, based on the total number of company employees. All subscriptions include the ShovelSafe technology and damage-prevention consulting services.

The primary indirect costs are associated with training of employees specifically on damage prevention, setting up the infrastructure to ensure any subcontractors are equally qualified and systems to deliver information to the program on a recurring basis.

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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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