News + Events

GSOC End of Year Update

Barb Cederberg, Gopher State One Call

Monday, December 4, 2017, GSOC passed the 800,000 ticket mark for the year. This is approximately a 4% increase in the number of tickets over the same time frame last year. The percentage of tickets submitted via the web reached 70.9% for the year through November. This compares to 66.3% web submitted tickets for last year through November. The GSOC Users Group had several meetings in the second half of the year. No issues were reported by the users related to the call center or the web ticketing system. The GSOC Users Group did talk about contact information on tickets and had a review of some new possible approaches to auto generated marking instructions. GSOC launched a new website and App in September.

GSOC Partners With Star Tribune

Gopher State One Call saw another successful campaign year in 2017 in their partnership with Star Tribune. GSOC utilized high-impact print advertising with Star Tribune section flags as well as a full page placement in their popular State Fair Guide. The digital advertisements placed on StarTribune.com and within the Star Tribune network delivered over six million impressions during the six month (April-September) campaign. Within the digital campaign, GSOC was able to target two market segments in order to drive home the “Click or Call Before You Dig” message. The farming/agricultural industry and Spanish speakers were each delivered over one million and close to 400,000 impressions, respectively.

iHeart Media

In response to a report on underground facility damages across Minnesota in 2016, GSOC set out to find a campaign vehicle which would target the metro area. After researching multiple media tactics, an on-air endorsement campaign partnership with Paul “Meatsauce” Lambert of the KFAN Powertrip morning show was developed. Paul’s popularity and credibility in the area as well as his enthusiasm for our public safety message proved to be a great success and met our goal of targeting the Twin Cities/Metro area. KFAN is the leading station in Minnesota for adult listeners between 25 and 64 years of age. The campaign delivered close to eight million impressions, 20% higher than was expected! GSOC is looking forward to continuing this partnership in 2018.

GSOC Board Open Session

The next meeting of the GSOC Board of Directors is Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at the GOSC offices at 1110 Centre Pointe Curve Suite 100, Mendota Heights, MN. The Open Session of the meeting starts at 9:00 am. Underground safety stakeholders are invited to attend this portion of the GSOC Board Meeting as well as speak during an Open Forum session. If you are interested in learning more about attending the GSOC Board Meetings and/or speaking during the Open Forum session, please contact Barbara Cederberg, COO GCOC.

MNCGA Agricultural Awareness Team

The next meeting of the MNCGA – Agricultural Awareness Team is
Thursday, January 11, 2018, at 10:00 AM at the GSOC Offices.
1110 Centre Point Curve, Suite 100Mendota Heights, MN

Minnesota Public Safety

The Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety wishes to remind all natural gas intrastate pipeline operators to submit their mandatory quarterly utility damage reporting in a timely manner. The quarterly damage reporting form is readily accessible via MNOPS’ website HERE. While utility damage reporting is mandatory for pipeline operators, MNOPS also highly encourages non-pipeline operators to submit their quarterly damage reports. (Non-pipeline operators include electrical, communications/CATV/fiber optic, water, sewer, etc...) MNOPS utilizes the operators’ damage reporting to analyze damage trends for Minnesota and help identify where improvements can be made, if any. The operators’ role in submitting their damage reports is an integral key in damage prevention and public safety. The more data MNOPS receives, the better we can continue to support Minnesota’s leading efforts in the damage prevention industry.

The quarterly damage reporting statistics can be found HERE.

CGA Excavation Safety Conference & Expo

Join us for the CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo from March 6-8, 2018 in Phoenix. The Conference is the premiere international event dedicated to providing educational content and resources to help protect buried assets. It is the largest event in the underground damage prevention industry, drawing almost 2,000 participants and offering 80+ hours of educational content. Common Ground Alliance (CGA) holds their annual meeting at this event, and with 60+ conference sessions, comprehensive workshops, numerous networking events, and 150+ exhibitors, it is the place to be if you are committed to the mission of reducing damages.

Thanks For Attending MN State Staute 216D Meetings This Year!

Thank you to all stakeholders who attended and participated in the MS216D Stakeholder Review meetings this year. Four meetings were held dating back to October 2016, with the most recent meeting being held in August 2017. Your thoughts, feedback and input were valuable in identifying improvements in Minnesota’s One Call laws. From the quarterly stakeholder review meetings and monthly sub-group meetings, we were able to develop enough support to propose statutory language change for the definition of excavation. The following proposed language has been submitted to the Revisor’s office for review and consideration for the 2018 legislative session:

“Excavation” means an activity that moves, removes, or otherwise disturbs the soil by use of:

1. a motor or engine
2. a hydraulic or pneumatically powered tool
3. machine-powered equipment of any kind
4. explosives
5. vacuum excavation equipment, except that:

a) Facility operators may use vacuum excavation equipment in a careful and prudent manner for the purposes of locating and marking their own facilities in response to a notice after all facility operators have responded to that notice or have otherwise coordinated with those facility operators.
b) Excavators may use vacuum excavation equipment in a careful and prudent manner to determine the precise location of a marked underground facility in accordance with MS216D.04 Subd. 4(a) and any provisions communicated to the excavator by the facility operator.

Excavation includes hand tool hammering, pounding, driving, striking, and similar operations to a depth of 12 inches or more of:

1. stakes
2. pins
3. posts
4. anchors

Excavation does not include:

1. the extraction of minerals;
2. the opening of a grave in a cemetery;
3. normal maintenance of roads and streets if the maintenance does not change the original grade and does not involve the road ditch;
4. plowing, cultivating, planting, harvesting, and similar operations in connection with growing crops, trees, and shrubs, unless any of these activities disturbs the soil to a depth of 18 inches or more;
5. gardening unless it disturbs the soil to a depth of 12 inches or more.

Other topics such as the 48-hour notification and boundary survey locate requests are still being reviewed on how best to address the need for improvement in those areas. Please stay tuned for information regarding future MS216D Stakeholder meetings. If you have any questions or feedback to provide, please contact the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety at michael.mendiola@state.mn.us.

Locate Rodeo Back at 2018 Pipeline Safety Educational Conference

Are you a professional locator? Are you a master at your craft? Care to test your knowledge and skill against your colleagues? An opportunity to do just that is coming up at the 2018 Pipeline Safety Educational Conference.

Yes, folks, we are bringing back the locate rodeo! The locate rodeo is a friendly, but highly competitive, opportunity to showcase your skills as a professional locator. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. There will be even be an amateur round for non-professional locators to try out their skill (or luck). We are still in the early stages of planning and are seeking more assistance from our stakeholders to plan, organize and facilitate the event in order for it to be fun, competitive and successful. If you or your company are interested in joining the locate rodeo planning team, please contact MNOPS at michael.mendiola@state.mn.us.

NEW! 2018 MNCGA Excavator Excellence Award and 2018 MNCGA Locator Excellence Award

These two new Awards, sponsored by GSOC, will be awarded at those 2018 Damage Prevention Meetings whose organizing committee wishes to participate. The MNCGA and GSOC would like to recognize those excavators and locators who exhibit high standards for underground safety, respect and professionalism. The awardees this year will be determined by the organizing committee of each Damage Prevention Meeting. Contact the organizer of your DP Meeting if you have someone you want to be considered for an award. There is a set of criteria for each award.

5th Annual Day of the Dozers Buries $40K Goal!

MUCA’s Day of the Dozers, the most unique charity event in the state of Minnesota, buried its $40,000 goal by raising over $47,000 for Children’s Minnesota. Over 3,000 people joined in the fun on a perfectly crisp and warm Saturday in September.

Year after year, the volunteers, operators and participating companies continue to add new and exciting ways for kids to get into construction and machinery. Gary Carlson Equipment Company added a fun remote-control compactor mini-race track to their usual Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream stand.

Both the kids and the operators enjoy their time together. For the older kids, the operators share a little information about how the equipment works and what it does in the field. The younger ones just love the ride and being in a big rig.

It takes over 100 volunteers to run Day of the Dozers. From the planning committee, operators, and industry representatives, to registration, selling t-shirts, pop and water, loading kids in and out of the machinery, and of course those who join us in promoting safety messages. We greatly appreciate the presence of the Elk River Police and Fire Departments, too. Our appreciation extends to all these dedicated folks; we couldn’t do it without them!

The Minnesota Regional Common Ground Alliance, an organization representing utility damage prevention stakeholders, supports Day of the Dozers by sharing the “811 Call Before You Dig” message. They set up fun games for the kids to learn about locating, marking utilities and especially safety in avoiding power lines. Completion of all activities earns them special gifts as a reminder of what they learned about being safe every day.

In the past 5 years, Day of the Dozers has raised over $130,000 for Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota. This year, we are sponsoring a Triage Room at St. Paul Children’s Hospital. Our deepest and sincerest appreciation goes to the many volunteers, sponsors, operators, participants and planning committee members who truly make Day of the Dozers a one-of-a-kind experience!

Click here for more Photos


In The News

2018 Minnesota Construction Summit
Save the date for the upcoming Minnesota Construction Summit on January 9-10, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center! [Read More]

What is Vacuum Excavation?
Vacuum excavation or “soft dig” is a non-mechanical and less invasive method of excavation. [Read More]

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