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.

Instead, the DPI is a system that supports identifying why and how organizations and stakeholder groups perform the way they do. For example, we want to explore questions like:

  • How do contracts influence damage prevention outcomes?
  • How do procurement processes impact the damage prevention system?
  • What technologies and practices lead to better damage prevention outcomes?
  • How can changes in business processes drive reductions in damages?
  • How can stakeholder groups empower one another to support good performance?
  • How can organizations empower themselves to perform well?

The DPI Metrics Sub-committee is actively working to address these kinds of questions, and more. It is, of course, important not only to track damages but also to normalize them to ensure meaningful comparisons of performance. Therefore, the initial focus of the DPI’s metrics work is on tracking performance, and how we can use the answers to the above questions to create efficiencies in damage prevention. The overarching mission of the DPI is to identify fundamental drivers of poor damage prevention outcomes and structural barriers to achieving better outcomes. In the spirit of shared accountability, we must look at how individual industry and stakeholder groups’ practices affect the damage prevention system as a whole.

Currently, only the excavator stakeholder group is required to submit metrics on a monthly basis. Excavators provide monthly work hours, which the DPI uses to calculate damages per 10,000 work hours.. (Other stakeholder groups participating in the DPI submit damage and near miss data on a monthly basis, but are not currently required to submit metrics data.) With engagement of DPI participants, we are developing performance metrics for locators and facility owner/operators. As soon as those metrics are finalized, we will communicate with locators and owner/operators about how to submit data for the new metrics.

Resources / Contacts

  • If you are looking for more information about DPI metrics, see our website.
  • If you would like to check if your organization is active and in good standing, view our Accredited Organizations list that is updated every Friday.
  • If you have questions about your organization’s accreditation, or wish to participate in the pilot peer review process, please reach out to dpi@commongroundalliance.com.
  • If you wish to provide feedback about DPI enrollment, DIRT or metrics, please fill out our feedback form.

Staff Spotlight: Sam Hall

Sam Hall joined CGA as Vice President of the Damage Prevention Institute in June of 2022, bringing with him more than two decades of industry experience and a strong regulatory background. With the engagement of industry leaders and CGA members, Sam leads the development of damage prevention stakeholder metrics and a peer-reviewed accreditation process to drive efficiencies in the damage prevention system. Sam is your go-to source for discussing the strategic direction of the DPI. Sam and the DPI team are focused on collaborating with members to build the program for the benefit of the entire damage prevention industry.

Sam worked in natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline safety regulation for 20 years, which included deep experience in damage prevention. His career has taught him the importance of understanding the real-world experiences of excavators, utility operators and locators and the interdependencies of these industries in the damage prevention process. Sam takes the concept of shared responsibility and accountability in the damage prevention industry to heart. “The industry can only find solutions to systemic damage prevention challenges with the support and engagement of all stakeholders,” he said.

Sam grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and currently lives in Richmond. He enjoys cycling, hiking, camping, boating, fishing, reading and spending time with family and friends. He recently rode 333 miles from Pittsburgh, Penn., to Washington, D.C. on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) and the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) canal towpath. He’s always planning his next cycling adventure and hopes to see you on the trail!