WorldWide Drilling Resource

38 FEBRUARY 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® Research Identifies Four Key Takeaways Adapted from Information by the Common Ground Alliance The Common GroundAlliance (CGA) published a white paper, Insights into Improving the Del ivery of Accurate, On-Time Locates , based on in-depth research among over 400 utility locat- ing technicians, managers, and industry decision makers, which summarizes findings to identify the greatest chal- lenges to the locating industry as a whole. Four key takeaways were found which the damage prevention industry can leverage to achieve more timely and accurate locates, to ultimately reduce damages and improve safety outcomes. #1 - The volume and variability of jobs (tickets) are huge challenges for the locating industry. A third of locate technicians pointed to a heavy workload as an obstacle to providing timely and accurate locates, with nearly 19% saying their daily workload was unmanageable. #2 - White-lining (marking the proposed work area) and updated facility maps may be the industry’s most effective paths to timelier and more accurate locates. While findings from #1 point to the need for the industry to rethink the efficiency of the damage prevention process, CGA’s research also heavily reinforces how widespread adoption of existing CGA Best Practices could make an immediate impact. There is an overwhelming agreement that white-lining and updated facility maps will improve the accuracy and timeliness of locates. #3 - Retaining an experienced workforce will likely produce better safety outcomes. High employee turnover and training emerged as significant barriers within the industry, according to both supervisors and technicians. Decision makers describe locating as a “tough” job and see heavy workloads, low wages, and overall lack of awareness of, and appreciation for, the profession as contributing to difficulties keeping workers. The research determined one way to give technicians more experience and draw them more deeply into the profession, is improving the frequency of ongoing training. #4 - Reimagining relationships between key stakeholders can dramatically move the industry forward. CGA is built on the foundational principle that damage prevention is a shared responsibility, so providing a path to easier communication between locate technicians and contractors could solve problems both near- and long-term. This could be done through damage prevention council meetings, regional partner summits, or one-call ticketing software. The industry should seek ways to enable direct communication between both parties. DIR Atlantis Vault • Self-Contained • Simple installation • Trouble-free operation For more information call: (270) 786-3010 or visit us online: