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An Introduction to Damage Prevention Software

Damage prevention software plays a vital role in reversing the alarming trend of excavation damages to underground utility assets. In this article, we explore this essential tool, explaining what it is, the benefits, and its critical role in safeguarding underground infrastructure.

Understanding the Critical Need for Damage Prevention Software

The cost of excavating damages to underground utility assets is substantial. Severed fiber optic cables disrupt telecommunications services while striking gas pipelines can lead to catastrophic explosions, injuries, and fatalities. The 2019 DIRT Report highlights the societal cost of infrastructure damage, reaching a staggering $30 billion in 2019. Despite ongoing “Call Before You Dig” campaigns, utility damages continue to rise for the fifth consecutive year.

What is Damage Prevention Software?

Damage prevention software, also known as utility asset protection software, acts as a guardian for critical underground infrastructure, including gas and electric lines, and telecommunications cables. Software integrates with proactive damage prevention efforts like facility locating and marking.

A common type of damage prevention software is the Ticket Management System (TMS), streamlining 811 dig ticket processing and asset location. Innovative solutions like Norfield’s damage prevention solution, the LOGiX Platform, powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, offer predictive analytics to identify high-risk excavation areas. This technology considers historical incident data, asset characteristics, and external factors such as weather conditions and population density.

Norfield assigns risk scores to excavations with tickets, facilitating the prioritization of field interventions like locate audits. Moreover, it pinpoints areas prone to non-ticketed excavations, addressing a significant cause of damage due to failure to notify One Call Centers. By identifying these high-risk zones, damage prevention managers can efficiently target awareness campaigns and advocate for changes in municipal work permitting processes.

Who Benefits from Damage Prevention Software?

Damage prevention software proves invaluable for companies managing critical underground infrastructure, including gas, electric, water, sewer, and telecommunications organizations.

Within these organizations, damage prevention managers and specialists utilize our damage prevention software to view tickets, assign locate activities, and determine interventions based on risk assessments. Field personnel, such as locators and inspectors, employ these solutions to document their activities, including taking photos, making notes, and completing assigned tasks.

Does It Always Include Risk Scoring?

Not all damage prevention software includes risk scoring. While many Ticket Management Systems (TMS) incorporate some form of risk assessment, they often rely on third-party risk scores, limiting configurability and control.

Norfield for Damage Prevention stands out with its robust damage risk assessment features. It surpasses TMS capabilities by providing insights into high-damage no-call excavations and identifying areas at risk for non-ticketed excavations—features not commonly found in standard ticket management software. Utilities can use this software to assign, monitor, and document locate and intervention activities across their service territory, similar to TMS but with enhanced predictive analytics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Damage Prevention Software, and why do utility companies need it?

Answer: Damage Prevention Software safeguards vital underground infrastructure, preventing costly accidents and service disruptions during excavation.

How does Damage Prevention Software work?

Answer: It uses data analysis, predictive analytics, and machine learning to assess excavation risks based on historical data and external factors.

What are the key features of Damage Prevention Software?

Answer: Features include risk scoring, insights into high-risk areas, prediction of non-ticketed excavations, and efficient ticket management.

Who can benefit from Damage Prevention Software?

Answer: Utility companies and organizations managing underground infrastructure benefit, including damage prevention managers, field personnel, and decision-makers.

Is Damage Prevention Software essential for small utility companies, or is it mainly for larger organizations?

Answer: Damage Prevention Software is valuable for utility companies of all sizes, enhancing infrastructure protection, risk reduction, and operational efficiency.

The Imperative of Damage Prevention Software

A comprehensive review of Common Ground Alliance ticket data reveals an astonishing number of excavations in the U.S. each year, potentially reaching up to 100 million when considering non-call excavations. Every excavation poses a threat to vital underground infrastructure.

To cope with this immense volume of 811 tickets, damage prevention teams cannot rely solely on manpower. Traditional programs are insufficient to handle this scale, forcing teams to prioritize interventions based on subjective judgment and experience.

Damage prevention software, including ticket management systems and Norfield, complements these programs. Norfield, for instance, identifies the riskiest excavation projects, allowing utilities to optimize their existing staff allocation.

Leading utilities across North America trust Norfield to reduce damages and associated costs. For more information on how this software can transform damage prevention efforts, explore Norfield’s Damage Prevention webpage.