Municipal Benefits: Public Safety, Good Governance, Resident Satisfaction

Gold Shovel Standard helps municipalities reduce damages to buried assets, saving lives, maximizing commerce, and avoiding wasteful use of municipal resources (such as first-responders and police).

Municipal Damages

Municipalities often consider the problem of line strikes to be the sole responsibility of the owner of the damaged infrastructure. Consequently, municipalities have distanced themselves from telecommunication line strikes or gas-line hits, for example, leaving damage resolution to the utilities involved.

Line strikes endanger residents, impact businesses, slow or stop commerce, distract fire and police resources, and disrupt the lives of the public. These disruptions can have a catastrophic impact on the lives of residents, derail businesses and taint the reputations of city leaders, regardless which entity owns the infrastructure.

Municipal leaders hold the keys to reducing line strikes, and an increasing number of public figures are assuming a leadership role in managing damages and ensuring public safety.

Read the article in Sacramento City Express

Good Governance

Good governance is about the processes for making and implementing positive decisions impacting public safety and the streamlined use of taxpayer money. Preventing infrastructure damage leads to better outcomes for local governments and their communities.

Local government should implement decisions and follow processes that make the best use of the available people, resources and time to ensure the best possible results for their community. Gold Shovel Standard provides municipalities with the tools to save their residents and businesses time and money, and save lives.

Public Safety

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.

Aside from significant savings from reduced damages, there are other, more compelling, reasons to join Gold Shovel Standard. Critical resources, such as first-responders and police, are diverted during damages, decreasing their availability for other, less-preventable challenges. Businesses in high-strike zones suffer during service outages, and the overall quality of life erodes.

No investment is more wisely made than one which both drives safety and simultaneously improving the quality of life for constituents. Municipalities must never neglect the safety of the public and the institutions that support them without serious consequence.

Resident Satisfaction

Many municipalities poll their populations to gauge satisfaction with services, reliability of infrastructure, and responses to issues of public and workforce safety. These polls indicate that the health of municipality is often measured by the safety and reliability of its infrastructure, including key buried assets.

Residents can effectively discern whether or not their local governments are fulfilling their expectations. When residents are satisfied with the municipal performance, they may express greater support for their leadership. However, if local institutions are unable to satisfy their demands, citizens will not only express their discontent with local governments but seek means to improve services.

A municipality’s loudest advocates are its residents, and Gold Shovel Standard provides the tools to keep residents engaged and content.

Getting Started

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.

Learn More about Municipal and Public Adoption of Gold Shovel Standard


Gold Shovel Standard is easy to adopt with existing resources. The program does the majority of the work, with the main contribution of municipalities being their commitment to embrace the program for the benefit of their residents and businesses.

The current annual fee for municipalities is $1500. If membership fees present a hardship, Gold Shovel Standard may waive them upon receipt of a hardship waiver.

Gold Shovel Standard Foundation

The mission of the Gold Shovel Foundation is to facilitate and sponsor municipal participation in Gold Shovel Standard through financial incentives. The resulting Gold Shovel Standard Communities help keep buried infrastructure safe, preventing life-threatening damages.

Learn more about the Gold Shovel Foundation


To gain the benefits of Gold Shovel Standard, start the enrollment process by calling Member Services at (855) 676-7252, or Email Gold Shovel Standard.

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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