Guide to Best practices

The Guide to Best Practices in damage prevention was launched to provide a reference and training tool as well as an awareness tool aimed at lowering the number of damages done to underground infrastructures. A significant number of stakeholders contributed to the development of consensus-driven Best Practices.

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1. Planning and Design Best Practices

Best Practices Statement: Designers and planners should evaluate all applicable factors when determining the placement of underground utilities.  Ideally speaking, existing utility corridors should be used to the fullest extent, and, for entirely new installations, consideration should be given to the creation of a common utility corridor for the current, and future placement of all utilities.

2. One-Call Centre Best Practices

Best Practices Statement: The one-call centre has a documented, pro-active public awareness, education, and damage prevention program.

3. Locating and Marking Best Practices

Best Practices Statement: the locator will always refer to documents (paper or digital version) related to underground infrastructures that are located at the excavation site.

4. Excavation Best Practices

Best Practices Statement: The excavator requests the location of underground facilities at each site by notifying the facility owner/operator through the one-call system. Unless otherwise specified in law, the excavator contacts the one-call center at least five working days prior to beginning excavation procedures.

5. Mapping Best Practices

Best Practices Statement: the geoBase used by the notification centre is precise and continually updated when new geographical data is made available by various governmental suppliers. It contains information such as geographical referencing as well as orthophotos when available.

6. Standardization and Implementation

Best Practices Statement: awareness and training programs are made to promote compliance with Best Practices requirements in damage prevention to underground infrastructures.

7. Public Education Best Practices

Best Practices Statement: In order to effectively promote damage prevention and influence/improve damage prevention habits, it is necessary to identify the target audience, establish what their education and awareness needs are, and to create a communications package that is tailored to those needs.

8. Reporting and Evaluation Best Practices

Best Practices Statement: stakeholders provide relevant information that they have with regards to events that have damaged underground infrastructures or that could have caused such damages. The information is then entered in the DIRT database (Damage Information Reporting Tool).


The following definitions apply to Best Practices in damage prevention of underground infrastructures.

Additional information on damage prevention