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CEO DATELINE - Utility line safety groups explore merger

Oct. 21, 2021
By Walt Williams

Two associations dedicated to promoting safe practices for digging near underground utility lines are exploring a possible merger.

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The Common Ground Alliance is considering the launch of a new arm that would incorporate the Gold Shovel Association into its organization, the two groups said in a joint statement. CGA is a national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and people who dig near them. GSA focuses on improving safety by providing damage prevention certifications and standardized performance metrics.

The merger will amplify the efforts of the associations’ collective mission of reducing damages to buried utilities, which cost the U.S. approximately $30 billion annually, the groups said.

“Damage prevention is unquestionably a shared responsibility, and CGA and GSA are committed to working together to reduce damages across the industry. Engaging members in both organizations will ensure that we proceed in lockstep to do what is best for the damage prevention industry as a whole,” CGA CEO Sarah Magruder Lyle said in a statement.

“The Gold Shovel Association is pleased to bring its excavation and pre-excavation metrics together with CGA’s robust research and data assets to ensure safety at every step in the damage prevention process,” said Cheryl Campbell, vice chair of GSA’s board. “Our work together will allow us to focus on addressing challenges across the damage prevention process.”

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