Skip to the main content.

3 min read

CGA Best Practices for Line Locating

Did you know that someone strikes an underground line in the U.S. every nine minutes?

This is something that places lives at risk, causes costly damages, and can cause power disruptions to friends, neighbors, and nearby businesses. The sad reality is that it is almost 100 percent preventable.

Ordinary residents need to call 811 before they dig so that a line locating service can identify the locations of buried utility lines for them. Businesses that offer locating services understand the importance of accuracy when identifying and locating these lines for the purpose of saving lives, reducing injuries, protecting property, and keeping utilities flowing to millions of people each day.

What are Line Location Best Practices?

To achieve this end, the Common Ground Alliance or CGA has created a list of CGA best practices for line locating to help providers locate lines more efficiently, accurately, and in a more cost-effective manner than ever before. The goal is always to prevent injuries to people digging but also to prevent damage to property as well. 

With rampant workforce turnovers, we run the risk of knowledge deserts across the country, which is why Energy Worldnet offers smart training to businesses that offer these services. This training is designed to help you create a workforce of master craftsmen and women when it comes to the art of locating and preventing damage.

How Can Businesses Improve Line Locating Services?

One of the most important services businesses can provide for the community is one that locates lines swiftly and accurately every time. Buried lines are a boon for the landscape and help to reduce power outages related to storm damage, wind, and downed trees. However, digging presents additional challenges that must be accounted for. That is where line locating service providers come into the picture. However, with a rapidly diminishing knowledge base in this field, it is increasingly difficult to provide adequate training and education to those locating and marking these lines.

In fact, CGA best practices recently released its latest version, version 18.0, to aid operations, like yours, in locating and marking lines so that everyone is on the same page about lines, markings, and maintaining safety all around. Among the many standards and best practices discussed are the following:

  • Color coding that is uniform and adopted nationwide so there is no confusion from one community to the next.
  • The use of single locators to mark multiple facilities.
  • Using available records as essential resources in the location process.
  • Issuing corrections and updates as appropriate.
  • Extensive and comprehensive line locator training.
  • Paying attention to safety, including concerns about obstructions, traffic, and physical conditions at the site.
  • Visual inspections that include identifying access points, possible hazards, and determining that the visuals match the information site records indicate.
  • Investigating damage as soon as it occurs to determine the extent and root causes of the damage.
  • Documenting work performed on lines as it occurs so that records remain up to date.

Importance of Locating Best Practices

Of course, these are only a few important components for effective line locating and a sampling of the best practices the CGA recommends. However, with the right training, organizations, like yours, can easily meet and even exceed these best practices to provide exceptional locating services and ensure exceptional quality work every time your team is called upon to handle this important task.

Line locating is not only important for individuals who require the services before digging. It is important to larger communities that are served by the men and women who provide this essential service. Training them to do their jobs right, the first time, every time, is critical.

Training Software for Line Locating

Energy Worldnet is a leader in innovative training software that can help you create a workforce of professionals who are masters at their crafts. This includes delicate tasks like locating and damage prevention. We offer many courses that can help you elevate your existing workforce or bring new employees quickly up to speed for effective locating. 

This includes the Master Evaluator Certificate Program (MECP) which helps you create evaluators and trainers who are not only masters of their own craft but also highly qualified to train and evaluate others in the craft as well. This will address the rapidly shrinking knowledge base within the industry while preparing the next round of recruits for long and fruitful careers.

Additionally, the Master Trainer Development Program (MTDP), also works to help your organization develop training programs that will meet your direct needs rather than working within a one-size-fits-all solution that may not be right for your business needs. 

Beyond these, Energy Worldnet offers a wide range of instructional options, including a four-hour line locating and damage prevention course. Contact us today to learn more about our many course options and to determine how we can help your organization excel in an increasingly competitive marketplace.