“Being a member of GSS has helped us establish procedures that will lead to a reduction in damages and the metrics provided will allow us to measure ourselves for continuous improvement in excavation safety.”

Kevin Miller
President, Miller Pipeline


“For me, Gold Shovel Standard certification has been a badge of honor.

“I’m a 43-year veteran of the field, and I developed a strong passion for safety in the 1970s. The union asked me to take control of safety and I take the responsibility very seriously.

“I have seen an immediate positive impact thanks to our GSS certification. There has been a significant decline in underground damage. GSS has proven to be a very effective program. It’s win-win for everyone. A win for employees, a win for customers and a win for the public.

“As GSS spread across the country, and more people sign-on, it’s a movement that will continue to improve workplace and public safety.

“Our safety management program was accepted with just minor tweak. We started training just after redelivering our certification. And our training was well accepted! Employees loved the form on personal responsibility. There has been a significant reduction in damages – all of our incidents have been due to improper locates. We now are only impacted largely by stuff that is beyond our control.

“In my 40+ years in the business, I can point at successes and I can point at failures, and Gold Shovel Standard is a success.”

Dan Morales
SPE Utility


“Dimension Energy Services acquired Gold Shovel Standard certification in early 2017.

“The certification is desired by many owner companies, several of which our company performs services for.

“We would recommend that all pipeline-related companies gain Gold Shovel Standard certification.

“By obtain Gold Shovel Standard certification, a company has been verified to have client and industry accepted safety and operations procedures in place and actively tracking them.

“The Gold Shovel Standard also tracks and trends the safety performance of a company and identifies risk factors regarding the excavation related practices of a company.

“A company measured by the Bench Mark of the Gold Shovel Standard and receives a Gold Shovel Certification can be viewed as a lower than average risk related company than others.

“In conclusion, 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.”

Robert Mitchell
Corporate Safety Director

Tim. H. Nesier
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dimension Energy Services


“Gold Shovel Standard isn’t just about having another certification. It’s not about having a certification because a Client may say we must have it. The safety of our employees, the public, and damage prevention are of the utmost importance to us. The GSS application process has helped us to refine our training process for our employees.”

Keith Cottle
Davey Resource Group


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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading



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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


Subscribe to the Gold Shovel Scoop

Email Address