The Critical Importance Of A Ground Disturbance Plan and How It Saves You Money

6 Steps To Create A Safe Jobsite That Will Save Your Company Money

As any new construction project starts, the completion timeline is one of the most critical aspects to protect. However, if the timeline is achieved over budget or at the risk of worker safety, it is not going to be considered a successful project.

We have worked with hundreds of construction companies on thousands of different projects, all of which tend to follow about the same process to achieve a successful completion.

That process is represented in the visual below.

Projects tend to start in the pre-project phase and move around the circular visual through planning and design, contractor selection, mobilization phase, the construction phase itself, and lastly the close out phase.

If everything goes according to plan, you end up with a profitable completed project, which is measured against three important elements:

  1. On time

  2. On budget

  3. Safety

However, what tends to happen along this journey is that unintended barriers arise that can challenge your ability to complete a successful project.

While some of these issues may be uncontrollable, we know that there are some critical, controllable barriers that can be prevented throughout the mobilization and construction phases.

The Key Barriers Preventing Your Project Success

Every year the Common Ground Alliance puts out a report called The Dirt Report, which is an independent assessment of all the damages that took place on construction sites over the course of that year. The latest report is incredibly revealing:


The number of damage reports they collected in 2019. This means that there is one damage report generated every 60 seconds.

$30 Billion

This is the estimated cost of these damages. How does that add up so quickly? Here are just a few examples of what some strikes cost, which your company will be paying out-of-pocket for:

  • Electrical contractor package – $250,000

  • Gas mainline – $250,000

  • Imagine hitting a large telecom package, which could potentially disrupt a hospital’s power – you’d be liable for not only repairing the damage but also supporting the hospital’s supplemental operations until power is restored!


The largest cost, however, is human lives. Since the year 2000, 2,000 injuries and over 400 deaths have been attributed to these damages.

What’s the #1 root cause for all of these damages?

Insufficient ground disturbance policy

Now, many companies think ‘they’re covered’ since they call before they dig and dialed 811. But as you’ll discover as you read on, there are a lot of factors that lead companies to think they’re covered when they’re actually not.

The critical dangers your construction site is exposed to

While 811 is a great first step – in fact it’s the first of six steps that we mandate in our new eBook, 6 Steps to a Safe Jobsite – it isn’t a comprehensive evaluation of your full construction site.

811 only knows public utilities on public land, so that’s all they mark.

Water lines, telecom lines, sewer lines, electric lines, post-tension cables, underground storage tanks, and other underground infrastructure put in by private property owners are not covered or marked by 811.

What’s more is they account for about 65% of all buried utilities in the United States. That means the typical construction site is a virtual mine field of potential hazards.

When these lines are hit, you:

  • Are liable for the repair costs.

  • Must account for costly budget overruns.

  • Lose money on downtime as your project grinds to a halt.

  • Have team members who are injured, sometimes severely.

  • Must endure bad publicity and negative press attention, which can be very impactful on your company’s reputation (not to mention future in the industry) if the utility strike caused significant damages or injuries.

Bypassing miss marks to keep your jobsite safe

GPRS pioneered a process called SIM Certification to reach beyond the typical industry approach that leaves jobsites prone to accidents.

We are the only company in the entire industry that puts our team members through this rigorous training process. The result is a staggering 99.8% accuracy rating across 70,000 projects performed last year.

SIM Specification goes far beyond the level 1 NDT certification when it comes to training.

NDT Certification: According to the national standard for certification, NDT requires 8 hours of classroom training and 60 hours of practical application coaching. TOTAL: 68 hours of training

SIM Certification: To be SIM certified, there is a minimum of 2 weeks of classroom training and 8 weeks of field mentoring required. TOTAL: 400 hours of training

Our SIM Certification, which everyone of our field project advisors go through, requires nearly 6X as much training as the standard NDT certification.

We have created an entire eBook dedicated to outlining the 6 Steps to a Safe Jobsite. In this eBook we go through the level of detail that our SIM Certification process covers on your jobsite, so that you end up with a successful project that is on time, on budget, and completed with zero safety issues.

6 Steps To Create A Safe Jobsite That Will Save Your Company Money