811 “Call before you dig” helping reduce accidents

A report out today from the Common Ground Alliance shows that the number of underground utility damages caused by construction and excavation in 2008 have shrunk by more than half. According to the CGA:

“The estimated total number of underground utility damages occurring in the U.S. in 2008 has decreased to 200,000 from the 2004 and 2007 estimates of 450,000 and 256,000 respectively”

The CGA was formed in the early part of this decade to address the problem of underground utility strikes. If you’re interested in the details Equipment World did a cover story titled Dangerous Digging on this subject in 2005. What is most impressive about the whole CGA story is that the group was formed from volunteers within the construction, pipeline and utility industries. These former antagonists sat down at the bargaining table and with very little government support or input hammered out a series of agreements and procedures that resulted in this admirable result. Can you imagine the stakeholders in the health care debate achieving such success?

If you want to read the full report or to participate in the CGAs activities, check out their website here.