Common DPI Questions

Common DPI Questions

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 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.

DO report to DIRT:

  • Damages to live lines CAUSED by abandoned lines. For example, an abandoned facility was marked rather than a nearby live line, or the abandoned facility was exposed by pothole and assumed to be the live facility.
  • Damages to utilities/facilities that are not 811 Center members. In such situations, please be sure to answer these questions, which are intended for facilities such as railroads, municipalities, DOTs, gravity sanitary sewers and storm sewers/drains/culverts.
    How does the DPI define “work hours?

We recently updated our work hours definition based on feedback from members to create a definition that would be simple to tabulate and report for the majority of our participants.

Work hours are defined as actual work hours, per state. Hours worked should include all employee work hours (regardless of type of work) over the month per state. If work hours are not available for employees on salary or commission, hours worked may be estimated on the basis of scheduled hours or eight hours per workday. This definition is based on the OSHA definition for work hours for their TRIR calculation.

Why should I participate in the DPI?

The Damage Prevention Institute drives true shared accountability in damage prevention by all stakeholders. CGA members are invited to participate in the DPI to enjoy these benefits:

  • Understand your organization’s performance in relation to your peers.
  • Drive the development of the next generation of key performance indicators in damage prevention.
  • Share and learn strategies for implementing change, managing risks and driving down damages through peer review.
  • Demonstrate commitment to core principles of damage prevention via accreditation.

How do I check my company’s accreditation status?

You can view our list of company accreditation statuses on our website here. This list is updated every Friday by 5 p.m. ET. If you have any questions about this list or your accreditation status, please reach out to

How does CGA membership invoicing work?

CGA invoices for membership on a yearly basis. Any organization that transferred over from Gold Shovel or joined mid-year will receive (or already has received) a prorated invoice for the rest of 2023. CGA will issue 2024 invoices in November of 2023.

Staff Spotlight: Sarah Magruder Lyle

During her time as President and CEO of CGA, Sarah Magruder Lyle has been focused on expanding the organization’s growth, visibility and success. CGA’s membership is currently the largest in its history with over 3,200 professionals dedicated to protecting underground utilities and the people who dig and live near them. She has implemented many innovative programs and initiatives, positioning stakeholders to embrace leading-edge technologies and processes focused on taking the industry to the next level. Examples of groundbreaking strides she’s made during her tenure include CGA’s ambitious 50-in-5 industry challenge to reduce damages to critical underground utilities by 50% over the next five years, the Next Practices Initiative and the Damage Prevention Institute, all of which are focused on inspiring the entire industry to make positive change.