CGA Reports 2019 Excavation Damages

Common Ground Alliance Releases Damage Report for 2019

The Common Ground Alliance is an organization that is committed to raising awareness of safety and prevention methods for underground infrastructure. Though many outside of the industry do not realize it, thousands of damages and injuries caused by working with underground utilities are reported each year. These incidents range from causing minor power outages or damage to equipment all the way to major events such as gas line explosions and fatalities. All of these incidents can be prevented, and that is the goal of CGA.

Vac-Con has been a member of the Common Ground Alliance for years, and relies on their information and reporting to better understand how to develop equipment that can effectively and safely work with underground utilities. Hydro-excavation is a growing method that is considered non-destructive and allows for safer exposure of underground power, communication, and gas lines. 

In 2019, 453,766 excavation incidents were reported in the United States. The top three root causes include no notification made to the 811 call center, the excavator failed to maintain clearance of verifying marks, and the locator marked the site inaccurately. 45% of damage lines were telecommunications, while a staggering 26% were gas lines. The most common identified equipment used in these incidents were traditional excavation, such as a backhoe. 

All of this data and more collected in the report paint the picture of a need for hydro-excavation across the country. Vac-Con is dedicated to educating and training operators on non-destructive digging and the multitide of benefits that come along with this practice.