Page 8 - Alabama 811 Magazine 2020 Issue 3
P. 8

811 Activity During a Pandemic
Iam pretty sure everyone would agree that 2020 has been a year
of unexpected events. Even if someone thought they had a handle on how this year would go, I don’t think anyone could have predicted what many of us have had to endure during this year. With the onset of COVID-19 many companies felt a direct impact on their operations from a downturn in business activities. The
811 industry, however, saw a different picture.
With the changes in the law in 2019, which took effect in January of 2020, Alabama 811 expected to see some reduction in locate request volume
with the life of a locate requests
being extended from 10 to 20 days. Currently, for the year, we are seeing approximately a 10% reduction in locate request numbers compared to the same period in 2019. With a major reduction in update requests for continued work around 54%, we are seeing about a 6% increase in “new” locate request year
to date compared to the same period
in 2019 and with a nearly 40% increase in homeowner requests (See chart below). These numbers began to rise in February and were a continued climb until May. There is also a marked percentage increase in locate requests for refresh marks as the markings are having to last a longer period, however those have resulted in just over 3000 requests for the year.
The additional law change had the
two working day notice beginning the next business day. The intended result of this change was to reduce second notices, when the excavator notifies the 811 system that the 48-hour notice has expired and some facilities are still not located. The hope was as the facility owners truly had 2 full working days to mark their facilities there would be a positive impact on the facilities being marked on time. Of course, COVID-19 was not considered in this scenario. There was an impact on the locating and facility owner community where
a reduced work force came in to play for employees out with the disease or having to quarantine away from the workplace for 10-14 days. Year to date numbers shows about a 7% increase in second notice requests during 2020.
As far as Alabama 811 direct impact,
we were fortunate that much of our contact center staff was already working remotely. We were able to transition
the remaining contact center staff and management to remote work locations very quickly. We continue to work in
a blended environment of in-office and remote work to maintain the employee staff numbers that are in the office at any given time in compliance with state guidelines.
As we wind down 2020, it will be interesting to see how things transition moving forward. Without a doubt this year has been one for the books and one we may need to throw out when looking at trend numbers moving forward!
Jan Feb Mar
Apr May Jun Jul
6 • Alabama 811 2020, Issue 3
Homeowner Requests 2019 vs 2020
2019 2020

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