Because our Damage Prevention meetings have been canceled for the remainder of the season, please read the following recap to stay up-to-date on industry matters.
Underground Safety: A Shared Responsibility
Focus on collaborations between one-call centers, excavators and locators before digging has taken place, instead of procedures that follow after damage was done. By communication effectively now can save time and costs later.
Help Promote Learn From the Unexpected
Gopher State One Call’s Learn From the Unexpected campaign needs your help! This campaign is about bring the excavation community together in a whole new way. It’s a call to action—a platform to share stories and ideas so we can work safer when the unexpected occurs. (Read more about the campaign here.) As trusted partners in safety, we humbly request that you help us accumulate noteworthy submissions so we can all work smarter and help the industry grow. Submissions are due by April 30. Selected winners will have the stories filmed and receive a free pair of Red Wing work boots.
2019 Ticket Summary
The total number of tickets processed by GSOC for the year of 2019 was 849, 097. This is up from 814, 346 in 2018. GSOC’s busiest month was May with 125,039 tickets. The total number of Normal type tickets was 693,287 and the second largest category was Update to Refresh requests with 96,957. Between ITIC, telephone and the GSOC app, 75% of tickets were processed online.
Meet Ticket Tips
Use meet tickets for projects. Locators can locate ahead of where you are excavating so there’s no need to have multiple tickets updated. Using meet tickets may seem more time-consuming up front, but this eliminates duplicating locate resources and will save time in the long run. This provides more accurate information to locators, better communication of project timing and ensures everyone is on the same page. Meet tickets offer better quality and timely locates. (Read more about meet tickets here.)
Excessive update tickets causes stress on locating resources. The facility operator has to mark the entire route, even the portion where excavation has been completed. Locator resources may be needed at other jobsites.
Expectations of Locators
- They should call if they are going to be late.
- They need to attend the Meet.
- They provide the maps if they are requested and available.
- They locate per the agreed upon meet schedule.
- They should enter positive response on the GSOC Positive Response system. Remember: locators have the ability to enter a comment in Positive Response.
Locators: if you know you are going to be late use the provided contact information to call ahead of time, so the excavator team doesn’t have crew members sitting and waiting.
Expectations of Excavators
- Perform White Marking before submitting the locate request.
- Provide start date and time. Give more time, if possible.
- Provide precise ticket information – DO NOT use mark the entire lot.
- Provide the field contact's cell phone number.
- Use appropriate ticket type, especially when dealing with normal vs meet.
- Review positive response.
Excavator/contractors: please inform your customers/homeowners that locators will be coming out to mark the buried facilities before excavation. Many locators are encountering frustrated homeowners who are unaware of them being on-site.
White Marking is Required by Minnesota State Statue 216D
White marking is not only the law but allows locators to quickly identify the area to locate. There are excavators who are not white marking and that needs to change. It is the excavator’s responsibility to white line the area of proposed excavation before submitting a ticket.
Starting your tickets on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday instead of Monday and Tuesday might help to spread out the locate demand. Monday and Tuesday are the busiest days.
Make Sure Your Cell Phone Number is Correct
Excavators must provide up-to-date cell phone field contact information. Without it, locators will be unable to reach you with questions, comments or concerns. Trying to track down your contact information slows them down.
Always check online to confirm the positive responses on your ticket. Don’t assume that locates have been met by the legal timeline. This is where communication comes into play and we can avoid a damage. If there are marks missing, call the locator to see when locates will be completed.
Hand Digging Advisement
GSOC advises you that although hand tools are exempt from the requirement to contact GSOC before you excavate, it is highly recommended for you to have underground facilities marked even when using hand tools. The use of hand tools may pose a threat to you and others and is the main cause of damages. (Examples: tent stakes, anchor bolts, form pins, metal probes, survey stakes, hand augers, political signs, real estate signs.)
Private (Customer Owned) Facilities
Private underground facilities DO NOT get marked by facility operators. When a property owner or tenant has a private underground facility, they are responsible for locating those facilities or hiring a private locator. A list of private locators can be found on the GSOC website. (For more information, view page 8 of the GSOC excavator handbook.)
Ticket Extended Start Time
These are initiated by the facility operator/locator on normal and update tickets for a maximum of 24 additional hours. New process is as follows:
- Excavator files locate request.
- GSOC processes and submits locate request.
- NEW: Facility operator can request an extension to the work begin date on a ticket (up to 24 hours past original start date and time).
- Excavator accepts or denies extension.
- IF ACCEPTED: Extended start time ticket is issued with original ticket number.
New Online Ticketing User Interface
A brand-new online ticketing interface launched in March 2020. The old interface is still available if needed. If you would like training for the new interface, please contact Jolena Ware at 651-454-8388 or ITIC@gopherstateonecall.org
GSOC promotional items are available for your office or team on the GSOC website under the Promotional Items tab. Free downloads are also available.
2020 Excavator/Locator Excellence Award Winners by City
Andover: Cody Luggar (Excavator), Tom Harstad (Locator)
Austin: Dave Adam (Excavator), Ryan Spatenka (Locator)
Brainerd: Eli Mackereth (Excavator), Steve Dryburgh (Locator)
Foley/St. Cloud: Russ Pekarek (Excavator)
Grand Rapids: Casey Jensen (Excavator), Rich Giles (Locator)
Hinkley: Jason Johnson (Excavator), Terry Erbtoesser (Locator)
New York Mills: Jordan Arntson (Excavator), Eric Lunde (Locator)
Owatonna: Robert Seykora Jr. (Excavator), Dean Olson (Locator)
Park Rapids: Dave Hacker (Excavator), Warren Wright (Locator)
Redwood Falls: Alvan Sander & Sons (Excavator), Jerry Barvels (Locator)
Rochester: Chad Eide (Excavator), Rob Castillo (Locator)
Spicer: Midwest Underground (Excavator)
We hope you’ve found this recap to be valuable. If you have additional questions regarding the content in this meeting, please reach out to Olivia Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org