The top excavation priorities for telecommunications operators are reducing line strikes to the network and reducing damages to other networks during installation. It is challenging to influence these reductions, yet they represent the single most significant safety risk associated with excavation damage.
The installation of new, and higher speed networks must be completed safely and efficiently. Careless installers that potentially endanger residents and businesses are increasingly intolerable and franchise rights to install networks are increasingly conditioned on safe installation practices. Gold Shovel Standard Certification provides telecommunication companies with access to empirical data about the excavation practices of potential installers. The proactive use of GSS Certified excavators may help maintain the relationship between telecommunications companies and municipalities in the event of an incident.
Gold Shovel Standard equips certified excavators with specialized software to improve performance and conduct sophisticated analysis of their damage prevention performance. They are also able to communicate to their telecommunications customers an empirical, detailed performance history and comparison to industry benchmarks, based on crew assessment, location, type of client, individual task and many other parameters. GSS provides an opportunity for operators to reduce risk through these tools, and can also directly support procurement departments, relieving some resource constraints.
Gold Shovel Standard offers:
- A demonstrable means for reducing risk to telecommunications networks; and
- Support for in-house contractor safety programs and identification of third-party contractors who may pose a threat to the network. While helping to increase the efficiency of these programs, GSS can also help maintain the reputation of both the telecommunications company and excavator in the event of an incident.
Gold Shovel Standard is easy to implement with existing resources. The program does the most significant part of the work on behalf of the member company. The current annual fee for telecommunications companies is $2400.