A complete locate package has many items that the person performing the ground disturbance needs to pay close attention to as they are the person ultimately responsible for digging in compliance with the law, best practices, standards, and guidelines for safety and damage prevention.
We discussed in a previous blog what a complete locate package consists of and its importance. Each of the reports must be reviewed in detail as they arrive to ensure all the information received matches the dig area and the parameters of the ground disturbance. Below are the items on each report that are of the most importance.
Ontario One Call Locate Confirmation
Once you complete your request with Ontario One Call, you will receive an email with the Locate Confirmation report summarizing the information you submitted for your excavation project.
It is critical that you review the Locate Confirmation Report to ensure that the information for your work area submitted to Ontario One Call has been accurately transcribed. If errors appear on this report, it is vital that you have them corrected immediately so that the Call Center and Locate Technician are given the correct information for your work area.
Key information on the Locate Confirmation Report that should be checked:
1. Work to Begin Date – ensure that you will be receiving your locate paperwork for the time you need it
2. Requestor’s Contact Information Section – confirm that your name, company, and contact information is correct in case any one of the Locate Technicians need to contact you for clarification of your work area
3. Dig Information Section - Ensure that the address on the locate confirmation matches the address for your work area. This is a common error found during a damage investigation. Address numbers can be transposed or in some instances completely wrong causing the locate report to be invalid. The change over to web tickets (except for call in emergencies) has eliminated a lot of these errors. However, the person putting in the web ticket can make mistakes, or the Locate Technician can locate the wrong address by mistake.
a. Type of Work – Describes the type of work being completed. If multiple types of work are being performed, describe the most impactful or deepest activity. ie. Boreholes, Trenching, Fence, Deck, watermain replacement, tree planting, stump grinding etc. Some utility owners may clear you based on the type of digging that you are performing.
b. Maximum Depth – Ensure you give a worst-case scenario for maximum depth for your work project. Digging deeper than what is on this confirmation constitutes working outside your locate limits. The utility owners may clear you for their facility if it is deeper than your submitted depth of excavation. If you get cleared for a shallow depth of digging, it does not mean there is nothing buried a bit deeper.
c. Machine Dig
d. Hand Dig – If you choose hand dig, you can be cleared by the utility owner and the “clear” does not mean that there is no buried facility beneath. It means that the utility owner does not think hand digging will damage their buried facility. Make sure you follow proper hand digging techniques. Learn more here.
e. Public and Private Property – By checking either or both boxes, you are indicating where you are digging. A word of caution, if you are digging in the City of Toronto or York Region, you MUST check public and private property if you are working on private property.
4. Detailed Description of Work and Remarks Section – If you have any special instructions for the Locate Technician, this is where you want to add and check that information for accuracy.
5. Members Notified Section - This section provides you with a list of the Utility Owners with buried utility infrastructure in or near your work area. For every notified Utility Owner, you will receive a locate report unless a special condition code appears in the Initial Status column beside the notified member’s name. These special conditions codes include: Clear, Suppressed, ALA, Locate Still Valid, Notification Sent and Non-Compliant.
a. “Clear” beside the member’s name in the Initial Status column, advises the excavator that the owner’s utility infrastructure has been cleared for their work area by Ontario One Call’s lookup center. If these special conditions are displayed beside the “Member Notified” this indicates to the excavator that there is no buried utility infrastructure for that Utility Owner within the request work excavation limits. These codes “C” and “L” beside the Member name indicate that the work area is clear and the Locate Confirmation report will be the only locate report received for this member. In the example provided, you can see a total of 7 “Members Notified”, all with an Initial status of “Notification Sent” except for one with a “C” beside one member. This means that you should expect a total of 6 locate reports for your work area and the locate confirmation report with the “Clear (C)” completes your public locate package of 7 members.
b. “Suppressed” beside a member’s name in the Initial Status column advises the excavator that the work does require a traditional field locate. Based on arrangements made between the facility owner and the excavator, the locate is not sent to the typical locate service provider (LSP). This could be for any of the following reasons, including:
i. The facility owner is doing work on their plant and does not require a 3rd party locate
ii. The facility owner has authorized the excavator to perform a locate for work they are doing on behalf of the facility owner.
iii. The excavator has hired a dedicated LSP authorized by the facility owner and they will provide the locates.
c. “ALA” - Alternate Locate Agreement beside a member’s name in the Initial Status column advises the excavator that there is an agreement in place between a utility owner and the excavator and that a traditional field locate from the Utility Owner will not be provided. Excavators that have an alternate locate agreement with Utility Owners will be the only users to see this “ALA” code. It is important to know that if you have an ALA, you must have a copy of the ALA with the locate report when you are digging.
d. “Locate Still Valid” will only be displayed beside a member’s name in the initial status column when an excavator requests a relocate of their work area. This informs the excavator that the utility owner requires them to use the original locate report initially provided to them and that their original locate is still valid. You will need to obtain the original locate report that you were given and add it to your relocate package to complete your locate package. Please keep in mind that if the marks on the ground have disappeared, you will have to contact the utility owner or LSP to refresh their marks. The LSPs are not obliged to mark these lines for free and may charge a fee for this additional service.
e. “Non-Compliant" beside a member’s name in the Initial Status column advises the excavator that the utility owner has not met their obligations under section 5 of the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification Act. In this circumstance, Ontario One Call has notified the Utility owners to ensure they are aware of your excavation work. If the utility owner does not respond, the excavator is required to contact the utility owner directly to obtain locates or request a status. Ontario One Call will not be provided with a locate status from the Utility owner regarding this ticket, and therefore, cannot provide further information to the excavator.
f. “Notification Sent” indicates that Ontario One Call has notified the utility owner or their LSP of your request for a locate.
Note: If a member was not notified such as Enbridge, then their infrastructure is not near the work area.
These special conditions take the place of an actual physical locate report. Using your checklist, make sure you have the correct number of locate reports as shown on the locate confirmation before you excavate.
A, C, or L does not indicate that there is no infrastructure present. It just means the utility owner is not worried that your work described in your locate request will impact their infrastructure.