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 from the desk of
Annette Bowman
Alabama has had an underground damage prevention program operational since the mid-'70s. For the first twenty years, it was a voluntary program
that facility owners and excavators utilized to help ensure the safety and protection of their employees, the environment and those who depend on the vital services provided by the underground facilities. In the mid-’90s, the first law was enacted that mandated the use of the one call, now referred to as the 811 system.
One of the needed elements to evaluate and improve on the underground damage prevention program is data. Simply put, to be able to properly gauge what is happening in the “real world” requires being able to look at all the elements from a neutral perspective and analyzing what the data shows. But it is also critical that the data set being used is complete to obtain a true picture.
Alabama’s Damage Prevention law does include a requirement of damages and near misses to be reported to Alabama 811 annually by the underground facility owners. Alabama 811 will focus this next year on working with our
  members to obtain their data and how the best way to do so. We do not want this to be an added burden to our members, but a user-friendly access to the system. In turn by obtaining this information, Alabama 811 can build that back into our ThoughtSpot Data Analysis tool that can assist our members to run data reports with their damage/near miss information as compared to the 811 ticket data.
In addition, this allows us to help build quality data to submit to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) to be used to analyze data nationwide. Be sure to visit to view current data submitted for Alabama and other states.
Annette Bowman Executive Director Alabama 811
 2023, Issue 4
Alabama 811
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