Dig Safe Month
The Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA) is seeking to hire a Contract Administrator for the Training Standards Committee.
Interested qualified applicants are invited to submit their resume and cover letter by Friday January 31, 2020 4:00 PM MST to email@example.com.
Alberta Common Ground Alliance
The Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA) is the voice of buried facility damage prevention in Alberta. Its members, representing the majority of the province's damage prevention stakeholder groups, work to reduce damages to buried facilities through the consensus identification, verification and promotion of damage prevention best practices and proper ground disturbance procedures.
The ABCGA is an open membership non-profit Alberta society that provides the forum where stakeholders can share information and perspectives and work together on all aspects of damage prevention to produce stronger, more effective results through cooperation, collaboration and the pursuit of common goals. We actively seek opportunities to participate in the development and revision of regulations, practices and guidelines to ensure they are fair, reasonable, based on current best practices and reflect stakeholder consensus.
Training Standard Committee (TSC) Administrator
Reporting to the Executive Director the TSC Administrator will be responsible to:
The TSC Administrator must have:
Conditions of Work
The incumbent will be expected to work independently on deadline specific tasks. Time requirements will depend on project requirements. Schedule flexibility is a requirement.
The incumbent will maintain an office that has suitable functionality to meet administration requirements.
The incumbent is an independent contractor and shall not be considered an employee of the ABCGA or entitled to any benefits that the ABCGA may provide to its employees.
The incumbent shall not be currently employed with a ground disturbance training provider during the term of their contract employment with the ABCGA.
Ownership of Materials
Final versions of all written documents produced by the administrator for the ABCGAs use shall belong to the ABCGA.
The incumbent shall not disclose to any other person or party, other than the ABCGA any confidential or proprietary information contained in any training program applications for endorsement, restricted access documentation and/or any confidential business operations relevant to the ABCGA and TSC.
Compensation shall be at an agreed upon rate per hour, both exclusive of GST.
The incumbent shall be reimbursed for travel and sustenance expenses related to the conducting of business on behalf of ABCGA at actual cost subject to the submission and approval of an itemized statement of expenses with receipts.
Use of the incumbent’s personal vehicle related to the conducting of business or attending meetings shall be reimbursed at the CRA’s current “reasonable per kilometre allowance” subject to the submission and approval of a vehicle log. GST shall not be added to this allowance.
Submit an Application:
A new issue of the Damage Prevention Process in Alberta has been released! Issue 6.4 further aligns the Damage Prevention Process with the Business Rules Alignment Group (BRAG) document, which standardizes business rules for the provision and use of notification services in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Download the Latest Issue
The following changes are included in this issue of the Damage Prevention Process:
When the State of Washington implemented damage prevention legislation, the hardest part for the departments and organizations involved was determining how that legislation would be enforced. They wanted a system that helped to change people’s behaviour around buried utilities, to prevent lines from getting cut, but they wanted it focused education, rather than penalties—and above all they wanted to ensure there was no fiscal impact on taxpayers.
The solution was to establish a safety committee with a panel of industry experts who hear complaints from all parties involved in ground disturbance incidents. The panel, which is composed of between three to five members, changes from one case to the next. The members who make up the panel are selected based on their similar work experiences and industry backgrounds to the parties involved in the incident, including contractors, locators and utility owners.
Don Evans, the executive director of Washington 811, says that by choosing panel members from the same industries ensures that those overseeing the case already possess the expertise to understand the case and the experience necessary to ask the right questions.
Evans says the greatest benefit of the safety committee’s panel is that contractors and locators have the opportunity to make their case and they know that when they do, they will be treated fairly, even when their complaint is against a much larger company. There are no lawyers involved in the process. Instead, all parties are given the chance to represent themselves. It’s peers talking to peers. The system works because each person’s peers are holding them accountable to the damage prevention process.
“When talking with people who know what they do, the nonsense falls to the side,” Evans says.
After hearing from each party, the panel decides whether any violations have occurred and prepares a recommendation which they send to the Utility Transportation Commission (UTC). The panel itself has no authority to enforce the legislation. Instead the UTC receives the recommendation and their investigator conducts an analysis. The commission then sends the recommendation, along with their findings, to an administrative law judge for penalty assessments.
When the UTC considers a recommendation, they are looking for an observable change in behaviour for those responsible for an incident. Along with monetary penalties, which begin at $1,000 for the first infraction and grow to $5,000 for a second infraction, there is also the option to attend education sessions or training courses.
Penalties are handed out based on infractions. multiple parties are at fault for an incident, each party is required to either pay fines or attend educational sessions. If someone wishes to appeal the case, they may also request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
Lynda Hollaway, damage prevention program manager with UTC, says that the process has produced unexpected benefits for the State of Washington.
“The UTC wasn’t used to receiving recommendations,” Lynda Holloway says. “But in some ways, it has saved us a lot of work.”
Because the safety committee is the first place that hears from all parties involved in an incident, it has reduced the number of small claims cases which the government has handled.
The panel is funded by utility companies and produces no fiscal impact on government or on taxpayers. The monetary penalties which the UTC receives are used exclusively to fund damage prevention initiatives and education. The State of Washington spent the money on damage prevention classes for excavators and utility locator classes, which they have been able to provide for free.
Since the committee was formed, Washington has seen a large drop in the number of incidents in areas where they have put on classes and done advertising campaigns. In turn, they have seen an increase in the number of people involved in damage prevention and eager to sit on the panel.
NIAGARA FALLS, ONT. (Oct. 9, 2019) – The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) released the 2018 Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report in Niagara Falls, Ontario on Wednesday during its annual National Damage Prevention Symposium. This report presents characteristics, themes and contributing factors leading to damages in Canada as reported via the DIRT system.
Download the Report
In 2018, there were 11,693 damages reported via DIRT for Canada; on average, 47 reported damages per work day (assuming 254 work days per year). The societal cost of these damages to underground infrastructure in Canada continues to be estimated at least $1 billion per year.
Among all damage reports with an identified and known root cause, 22% occurred because no locate request was made to a One Call Centre and 38% were the result of insufficient excavation practices.
While reporting damages in DIRT is voluntary, the data is critical for the CCGA to determine root causes and develop mitigating measures to reduce and eliminate them.
The complete 2018 DIRT Report is available to download at www.canadiancga.com. Stakeholders interested in submitting data to the 2019 report, or establish a Virtual Private Dirt account, should visit the DIRT website at www.cga-dirt.com.
The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing public safety, and increasing the integrity and reliability of Canada’s underground utility infrastructure through the development and implementation of effective and efficient damage prevention practices across Canada. As Canada’s unified voice on damage prevention, the CCGA attracts members from all Canadian national organizations and associations who share common damage prevention and public safety solutions. The CCGA and its Regional Partners welcome all stakeholders who wish to be part of the identification and promotion of best practices that reduce damage to buried utilities.
President – Canadian Common Ground Alliance
Media Inquiries: info@CanadianCGA.com
Know What's Below
The ABCGA and the BCCGA are pleased to announce that Global Training Centre have been endorsed to the Ground Disturbance 201 (British Columbia) Standard!
Global Training Centre have been granted full endorsement of their Ground Disturbance Level II classroom training program as meeting the requirements of the Ground Disturbance 201 (British Columbia) Standard, effective as of Aug. 21, 2019.
See our list of endorsed training providers.
Beginning September 16, 2019, all Contractor and Member locate requests must be submitted online. Following a three-month grace period, this mandate will be enforced January 1, 2020.
Locate requests submitted by phone are more likely to result in damage to underground infrastructure due to challenges associated with verbally relaying the precise location of proposed excavations. When a locate request is placed online through the web portal, however, precise dig site information is drawn on a map by the excavating party and relayed directly from them to the utility owner and/or their locating crew eliminating verbal description and interpretation challenges. In relation to this, Alberta One-Call Corporation examined all damages to underground infrastructure in Calgary and Edmonton between June 2017 and May 2018 and concluded a significantly higher rate of damage, respectively in those cities, when locate requests were submitted by phone rather than the web.
Emergency and Homeowner locate requests, and locate requests placed by satellite phone for ground disturbances in locations where there is no cellular service, are exempt from this rule.
The majority of Contractors and Members have already shifted the locate request process to the web. In June 2019, 90% of all locate requests from Contractors, and 93% of all locate requests from Alberta One-Call Members, were submitted online.
AOC hosts weekly web-training webinars. Sign-up for the next one HERE.
Please send questions to Info@AlbertaOneCall.com.
Alberta One-Call Corporation
The new Large Project Ticket for locate requests in Western Canada will go live on Monday, June 17.
For contractors who are undertaking large, pre-planned projects—where work will occur over large areas and continue for a significant length of time—the new ticket type will allow them to map much larger areas on a single ticket: up to 800,000 square metres in an urban area, or up to 4.2 square kilometres in a rural area.
The new ticket type is being introduced in order to resolve unforeseen issues related to dig site restrictions which appeared following the release of the new one-call software in Western Canada.
With the release of the new ticket type, previous changes to regular project tickets will be partially rolled back. The interim changes, made in March, had temporarily increased the maximum dig-site size for urban and rural areas. On June 17, the maximum dig-site size for project tickets in rural areas will be reduced from 4.2 square kilometres to 800,000 square metres; however, the maximum size for project tickets in urban areas will remain at 60,000 square metres.
The new large project ticket type and the recent changes to regular project tickets will reduce the number of tickets that excavators and locators must manage while working on large jobs, reduce the risk of gaps occurring in the mapped work area whenever multiple tickets are required, and facilitate the timely completion of locates for large jobs.
Before You Dig Partners (BYDP) are continuing their free weekly webinar series, which reviews the submission process and recent changes to the one-call software, to help customers address any issues or hurdles they have encountered.
Their previous webinar series, which ran from March 14 until May 30, has now been expanded into a “basics” webinar and an “advanced” webinar. The first webinar covers the basics of submitting locate requests online using the new software, while the second “advanced” session, highlights complex ticket types and reviews recent software changes.
The webinar series is held each Thursday from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM Mountain Time and will alternate weekly between the “basics” session and the “advanced” session. The new sessions began June 13 and will run until September 26.
Register for the Basics Webinar.
Register for the Advanced Webinar.
The process for safely conducting activities near interprovincial or international power lines is currently provided in the NEB Act and in the Power Line Crossing Regulations under the NEB Act.
The proposed Canadian Energy Regulator Act, as part of Bill C-69, updates the regulatory framework for safely conducting activities near interprovincial or international power lines to match that already in place for pipelines damage prevention. It reflects modern damage prevention regulatory frameworks and practices in place across Canada. As a result the regulations need to be updated.
A Consultation Paper including the proposed Power Line Damage Prevention Regulations is available on the NRCan website for comment. If you have comments on the proposed regulations, please send them by June 7, 2019 to the damage prevention email address (PLdamagepreventionregs@neb-one.gc) provided in the Consultation Paper.
Once the comment period closes, written comments will be posted on the NRCan Public Consultations Opportunities web page. Your comments will be reviewed and considered as part of the completion of the regulations, related document and communications. The final Regulations, along with the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statements will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, following Royal Assent of Bill C-69. A summary of the comments received, as well as a detailed outline of any changes to the proposed Regulations, will be provided in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statements.
Please visit the NRCan website for information and updates on the proposed regulations. You may also sign up there to be included in an email distribution list for receiving updates as the Regulations are developed, including information on public engagement opportunities.
The ABCGA is pleased to announce that Southeast College have been endorsed to the Ground Disturbance 201 (Alberta) Standard!
Southeast College have been granted full endorsement of their Ground Disturbance for Supervisors and Workers classroom training program as meeting the requirements of the Ground Disturbance 201 (Alberta) Standard, effective as of May 8, 2019.
See our list of endorsed training providers.
Follow On Social Media
140, 1209 – 59 Ave SE
Calgary AB T2H 2P6