Common Ground Alliance’s Damage Prevention Institute Acquires Gold Shovel Association, Welcomes New Participants

Common Ground Alliance’s new arm, the Damage Prevention Institute, will reduce damages to buried infrastructure through shared responsibility in data benchmarking and continuous metrics improvement 

Washington (Jan. 3, 2023) Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of the Gold Shovel Association (GSA). CGA is pleased to welcome former GSA members to the association and as participants in its new arm, the Damage Prevention Institute.

The Damage Prevention Institute (DPI) will address systemic inefficiencies in the damage prevention industry by developing performance metrics for all stakeholders that reflect adherence to CGA’s Best Practices and a commitment to reducing damages to buried infrastructure. Building upon CGA’s foundational DIRT (Damage Information Reporting Tool) data and GSA’s metrics development, the DPI will focus on evaluating the performance of each stakeholder group engaged in the damage prevention process through a metrics-focused, peer-reviewed model of accreditation.

Voluntary participation in the DPI is now open to all CGA members, including facility owners/operators, excavators and locators. Criteria for DPI accreditation will be comprised of damage and metrics reporting, adherence to DPI policies and implementation of CGA Best Practices, among other requirements.

“CGA’s Damage Prevention Institute is making important advances in developing the next generation of metrics and processes that will meaningfully reduce damages to buried infrastructure,” said Sarah Magruder Lyle, president and CEO of CGA. “I encourage all excavators, facility owners and operators, and locators to actively engage in this critical next chapter in damage prevention by participating in the DPI and embracing the importance of not only shared responsibility, but shared accountability in the damage prevention process.”

“The DPI’s accreditation and peer review process will help make damage prevention more efficient and transparent by spotlighting inefficiencies in the 811 process that impact safety

outcomes, for the benefit of all committed participants and the public at large,” said Sam Hall, vice president of the Damage Prevention Institute. “We’d like to welcome our DPI participants and encourage all CGA members to participate. In the coming months, the DPI will be rolling out new software, peer review processes and dashboards to further measure and positively impact the damage prevention process.”

DPI participation is open to all CGA members at no additional cost. For more information on the DPI and how to participate, visit

About Common Ground Alliance

CGA is a member-driven association of nearly 2,000 individuals, organizations, and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA’s Damage Prevention Institute is focused on providing the industry with powerful insights and opportunities to reduce damages through a metrics-focused, peer-reviewed model. CGA has established itself as the preeminent source of damage prevention data and information in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at