2019 Annual President’s Letter

The Changing Landscape of Damage Prevention

Starts with Dig Safely New York


You’re going to read that word a lot in this year’s annual report. That’s because Dig Safely New York is changing. Change is important, because even though Dig Safely New York is the only contact center that supports Upstate New York, organizations (including this one) need to constantly change and innovate in order to succeed. Innovation is about making things better and faster. It drives ongoing improvements, member and customer satisfaction, and growth.
As an organization, we have focused on the excavation-industry culture and processes before we’ve decided what changes needed to be made. Essentially, the industry needs are driving the future of this organization and what technology we use to support it; not the other way around.
As a country, we are burying more and more facilities underground every day. With society and our underground world evolving, our theory is that we should as well.
2018 was another successful year for Dig Safely New York. We reached yet another historic high of location request volume exceeding 534,000, and increased utilization of web services at 41.69%.
Attendance at our cornerstone educational events—the annual Excavator Safety Seminars—accounted for more than 3,300 attendees of the over 14,900 trained excavators in 2018. And, we closed our books again with a net gain financially.
Our programs and services provided to members and customers, alike, are constantly being refined to reflect the needs of today and the predictable future in the excavation industry. In short, Dig Safely New York serves to define and build the future of the one-call process, evolving to meet the needs of the industry.
It was evident that Dig Safely New York is on the right path, when on November 5, 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an amendment to 16 NYCRR Part 753, to require approved one-call training to certain groups of the excavation community. The amendment to the law’s requirements practically models that of Dig Safely New York’s Certified Excavator Program in Safe Digging Best Practices. This curriculum was developed and implemented in 2015, to set a new standard of learning in the industry. Since its implementation, more than 4,000 excavators have voluntarily participated in the lengthy program (June 2015 through December 2018) to further safety for themselves, their companies, and their communities.
While 2018 was another fantastic year, I am looking forward to 2019, which is also Dig Safely New York’s 50th anniversary. After 50-years of business, years of planning and hard work, there are exciting undertakings coming to fruition. The strategic vision for the organization has never happened overnight, but the progress I have seen since I became the President of the Board of Directors has shown me that the operational agility of this nonprofit is truly remarkable. Each passing year demonstrates that we do, and need to continue to, embrace change.
It is without hesitation I profess that every employee and board member at Dig Safely New York takes their role within the damage prevention arena very seriously. We continue to look for collaborative alliances and partnerships to create bonds within our communities and strengthen the damage prevention initiatives.
We will continue to change, innovate, evolve, and grow in the name of damage prevention.
Laurie Brown—President