The Damage Prevention Institute (DPI) is approaching its one year anniversary. We have been working throughout 2023 to develop the structure of the DPI and to ensure participants have a pathway to success. With that, here are some highlights from 2023, and some things to look forward to in 2024.
2023 DPI Highlights
- Launched the DPI on Jan. 1, 2023
- Accredited more than 1,000 organizations
We have received several recurring questions from participants about reporting, metrics, the value of participation, accreditation status and billing. We hope this post provides answers. If not, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 571-500-2085.
Are there any damages we should not be reporting to DIRT?
Do NOT report to DIRT:
- Damages to customer-owned buried assets such as natural gas or electric lines extending beyond the meter to garages, sheds, workshops, swimming pools, grills, etc.
- Damages to abandoned facilities (see below for what should be reported).
- Events that ARE NOT underground damages or underground near misses. DIRT accepts other types of damage reports, but these are for organizations that want to use DIRT as their internal record-keeping system. If you choose to report these kinds of damages, be sure to choose the appropriate non-DIRT “Type of Event” so those reports can be excluded from the annual DIRT Report (and your Data Quality Index, or DQI, score). Do not enter them in DIRT unless you want to track these events for your own purposes.
The CGA Summer Committee Summit was held July 31-Aug. 3, 2023, in Gulf Shores, Ala. This Summit was a resounding success for the Damage Prevention Institute. We made significant progress on two topics: our peer review program and metrics for facility owner/operators.
Peer Review Program
DPI staff have been developing potential models for our peer review process, and intend to kick that off with a pilot program in the beginning of 2024. The DPI Advisory Committee provided excellent feedback and advice on the models and ideas we presented to them at the Summit. We will be testing multiple models of peer review, and will be sharing more information about the process this fall. We will take what we learn from our pilot program and use this knowledge to build our official peer review program. Peer review will be a key component of the DPI and bring to light how DPI participants can be a part of CGA’s 50-in-5 industry challenge.
For years, DIRT has provided industry insights on damages to underground infrastructure. DIRT data is a critical component of reducing damages, as it provides visibility into the causes of excavation damages and trends over time. The data also helps point the way to how our industry can save lives, protect communities and reduce costs.
Near miss reports (or discoveries) tell a very important story in damage prevention. Near misses identify circumstances that could have resulted in excavation damage, but did not. Near miss reports give our industry insights into potential excavation damages. By analyzing near miss data, we can better understand the practices in the field that prevent damages, especially when another stakeholder has made a mistake in fulfilling their responsibilities, or other circumstances negatively impact safe excavation.
There have been a lot of changes at the Damage Prevention Institute over the past few months. We want to give you an update on our team and where we are at with updating existing metrics.
Since the DPI is new (as of Jan. 1, 2023), we are at the very beginning stages of identifying the metrics that will support the vision of the DPI. The DPI is not focused on identifying which organizations are “good” or “bad” in the damage prevention industry: DPI accreditation is intended to be much more than a tool for stakeholders to determine who they contract work with. Instead, our focus is to understand the barriers to good performance in damage prevention so we can influence positive changes across the industry. While DPI participants may use the information in DPI DIRT to assess the performance of vendors and customers, DPI accreditation does not certify organizations as qualified or safe.