Why Do Near Misses Matter?

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.

For example, a crew might be potholing and find an unmarked utility. While the unmarked utility was not damaged, it easily could have been. Near miss data provides us with a much broader picture of what is happening in the field so we can shift emphasis to the Best Practices, Next Practices, technology and education that will prevent damages

While the DPI does not require you to provide near miss data, reporting on near misses to DIRT can give us a better understanding of how we can support you. We need excavators to tell us the true story of what they’re encountering in the field.

Staff Spotlight: Sierra Tireman

Sierra joined CGA as Program and Administrative Coordinator in March 2023, with a history of eight years of hospitality and event experience. She loves planning and working events, and is very excited to join the Damage Prevention Institute team and work towards reducing damages to underground infrastructure. Sierra is your go-to source for any questions about DPI compliance or participation, and supports CGA in a variety of other ways.

Sierra has lived in four states, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington and Kansas. She currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisc., and enjoys exploring the city in her free time. She has a dog and two cats that keep her hands full. She also spends her time traveling, reading, cooking, baking and going to concerts with her friends. Her dream vacation is to travel to Greece, so send her any recommendations you have!