Compliance Review and Improvement Program
Table of Contents
The Diggers Hotline Advisory Board has created the Compliance Review and Improvement Program to address non-compliant situations with excavators or member facility owners. This program promotes responsible review of patterns of non-compliance, and stresses communication between stakeholders, with final oversight by the Diggers Hotline Board of Directors. If corrective action(s) is required, voluntary improvement will be encouraged, but other actions can be imposed if necessary.
The Compliance Review and Improvement Program is intended to address patterns of non-compliance. It is not meant to target isolated incidences of non-compliance.
Non-compliance includes, but is not limited to, not adhering to Wisconsin Statute 182.0175, policies of the Excavators Guide, Membership Agreement, the Field Manual, or other ticket guidance offered by Diggers Hotline. Non-compliance includes, but is not limited to the following examples:
- Using Crew on Site or 24 hour relocates when the ticket is not “valid”, the crew is not on site or en route as required for a Crew-on-Site, filing on a schedule rather than as necessary, or not verifying that marks are actually missing or destroyed.
- Filing non-excavation planning-based work as Standard tickets and not as Planning tickets.
- Using Emergency tickets when a valid emergency situation is not present.
- On Multiple Dig Site tickets, not working with locators to allow enough time for markings throughout the area.
- Tickets larger than allowed scope such as Stretch of Road or multiple addresses on one ticket.
- Not providing accurate and adequate field contacts on a ticket.
- Using the Diggers Hotline online portals to violate ticket policies.
For Member Facility Owners
- Allowing ticket screening software to incorrectly screen out tickets, resulting in tickets not being located as required.
- Not locating or responding in the case of tickets that allow for a response such as Emergencies, Crew on Site Relocates, or No-Show Relocates, by the legal start date and time.
- Not providing prints by the legal start date and time when a Planning-Prints ticket is requested.
- Not maintaining up-to-date, accurate contacts with Diggers Hotline, such as After and During Business Hours contacts, administrative contacts, and billing contacts.
- Not maintaining up-to-date, accurate member service areas in the Diggers Hotline system.
The Advisory Board will review non-compliance reports which do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Enforcement for Natural Gas and Other Hazardous Materials Subsection of Wisconsin Statute 182.0175. Examples of items which do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Enforcement Subsection include, but are not limited to:
- Ticket types created by Diggers Hotline.
- Non-compliance concerns related to facility types transporting non-hazardous materials.
Investigation of non-compliance involves, but is not limited to:
- The review of various Diggers Hotline ticket reports
- Testimony from involved parties
If the Advisory Board determines the non-compliance is worthy of further investigation, the Advisory Board will appoint a representative to contact the company to discuss the non-compliant situation. Documentation of the discussions and actions will be provided to the parties throughout the process. If the Advisory Board is satisfied by these initial discussions and the company agrees to become compliant, no further action will be taken. The Advisory Board will send a certified letter summarizing the discussion and stating no further action will be taken.
If the Advisory Board representative believes further follow-up is necessary, the non-compliant company will receive a certified letter scheduling a meeting with the members of the Advisory Board. If the Advisory Board is satisfied with the company’s responses, the Advisory Board will send a certified letter summarizing the discussion and stating no further action will be taken. If the Advisory Board is not satisfied, the company will be provided an improvement plan which clearly defines what needs to be improved and the actions that must be taken to achieve that improvement. The non-compliant company will have 30 days to become compliant.
If the company improves, a written confirmation letter will be sent summarizing the need for no further action. The Advisory Board will continue to monitor performance at their discretion to ensure continued compliance. If the company does not implement the improvement plan or again falls into non-compliance, the Advisory Board can either repeat steps above or proceed to the next step.
If the company does not improve the Advisory Board can recommend a corrective action(s) to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will decide if the corrective action(s) will be implemented or request the Advisory Board to take additional measures.
If the Advisory Board has a meeting with a non-compliant company, and is not satisfied with the company’s responses, the Advisory Board will develop an improvement plan for the non-compliant company. To avoid any corrective actions, the non-compliant company must implement the improvement plan.
The improvement plan is a document that clearly defines the actions the company must take to achieve compliance. The improvement plan will also inform the company of the corrective action(s) the Advisory Board will recommend to the Board of Directors if the non-compliant company refuses to implement the improvement plan.
Corrective actions are recommended by the Advisory Board and approved by the Board of Directors. With a simple majority vote, the Advisory Board can recommend a corrective action(s) to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will have up to 30 days to respond to the recommended corrective action(s) at an upcoming board meeting or via conference call. The Board of Directors will discuss the situation and either vote on the corrective action(s), request additional information, or require the Advisory Board to take additional measures. If corrective action(s) is approved by the Board of Directors, a certified letter will be sent to the company outlining what has occurred throughout the entire process and the corrective action(s) that will be implemented.
Corrective actions can include, but are not limited to:
- Suspending the usage of ticket types created by Diggers Hotline and not found in Wisconsin Statute 182.0175.
- Suspending access to the Diggers Hotline ProPortal.
- Suspension of membership on the Advisory Board.
- Issuance of a non-compliance monetary surcharge increasing the member per-notice fee.
Corrective actions will be until a point in time when the company is willing to implement the improvement plan.
Includes, but is not limited to, not adhering to Wisconsin Statute 182.0175, policies of the Excavators Guide, Membership Agreement, the Field Manual, or other ticket guidance offered by Diggers Hotline.
An excavator or member facility owner.
An implemented procedure to eliminate the cause of a detected non-compliant or other undesirable situation.
A plan that is established by the Advisory Board after meeting with the non-compliant company. The Improvement Plan defines the steps a company needs to take to achieve compliance.
An organization directly involved in the damage prevention industry. Some examples of Stakeholders are: Diggers Hotline, member facility owners, government (municipal, county, and state), excavators, planning and design engineers, surveyors, and contract locators.
An industry stakeholder panel appointed by the Diggers Hotline Board of Directors with the purpose of bringing industry diversity to the decision-making process for Diggers Hotline.
The Advisory Board is comprised of not fewer than 9, nor more than 15 stakeholders.
Board of Directors
The governing body of Diggers Hotline. Individuals who sit on the Board are responsible for overseeing the organization’s activities. Governance is high-level: strategy, oversight, and accountability.
The Diggers Hotline Board of Directors is made up of 9 elected representatives from the member facility owners. The Board of Directors have 4 elected officer positions: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Board of Directors and officer positions are 3-year terms and voted upon by the entire membership of Diggers Hotline.
A public or private entity which owns or maintains “Transmission Facilities.”
Defined by Wisconsin Statute 182.0175(1)(c) including “all pipes, pipelines, wires, cables, ducts, wirelines and associated facilities, whether underground or aboveground, regardless of the nature of their transmittants or of their in-service application. The term includes, but is not restricted to, utility facilities, government-owned facilities, facilities transporting hazardous materials, communications and data facilities, drainage and water facilities and sewer systems. The term does not include culverts.”
Member Facility Owner
Facility Owner which has joined Diggers Hotline. Member Facility Owners receive Tickets/Locate Requests from Diggers Hotline when excavators identify they are excavating within an area where member facilities may exist. Member Facility Owners pay Diggers Hotline a Per-Notice Fee for receiving Tickets/Locate Requests.
A fee the Member Facility Owner pays for each Ticket/Locate request received from Diggers Hotline identifying intended excavation to occur in an area where their facilities may reside.
Wisconsin Statute 182.0175 allows Diggers Hotline to assess this Per-Notice Fee and to cease a Facility Owner’s membership in Diggers Hotline if a Per-Notice Fee is more than 90 days past due. Facility Owner membership may be reinstated upon payment of the amount past due.
Defined by Wisconsin Statute 182.0175(1)(bm) as “a person who engages in excavation.”
Defined by Wisconsin Statute 182.0175(1)(b) as, “any operation in which earth, rock or other material in or on the ground is moved, removed or otherwise displaced by means of any tools, equipment or explosives and includes grading, trenching, digging, ditching, drilling, augering, tunneling, scraping, cable or pipe plowing and driving and means any operation by which a structure or mass of material is wrecked, razed, rended, moved or removed.”
Excavators are required by Wisconsin Statute 182.0175 to provide advance notice of their intent to excavate to Diggers Hotline.
An individual who conducts field markings of the area described in the Ticket/Locate Request. A locator is an employee of the Member Facility Owner.
An individual who is employed by a company which a Member Facility Owner hires to conduct field markings of their facilities at the area described in the Ticket/Locate Request.
A panel appointed by Diggers Hotline that carries out the duties specified in Wisconsin Statute 182.0175(3)(bg) and Wisconsin Statute 182.0175(3)(br). The panel consists of 2 transmission facility owners, 2 excavators, 1 employee of Diggers Hotline, 1 person who represents the interest of a political subdivision, and 1 person employed as an underground line locator.
A free online resource for professional excavators or planning designers to file Tickets/Locate Requests. The ProPortal allows the user to file all ticket types, map their excavation location, relocate tickets, search for their previous tickets, and view positive response information for their tickets.
The ProPortal requires users to watch a training video and pass a general knowledge test before access is granted by Diggers Hotline. Diggers Hotline personnel review all tickets submitted by new users. The ProPortal program requires the user to complete 30, consecutive, error-free tickets before mandatory review of all tickets is no longer necessary.
Wisconsin Statute 182.0175 requires all excavators to provide information about their excavation project to Diggers Hotline prior to excavation occurring. The information provided by the excavator to Diggers Hotline is organized and then transmitted to Diggers Hotline member companies. The compiled excavation information is called a Ticket, or Locate Request.
Excavators are provided a Ticket Number, which is a unique number composed of the year, the week of the year, and a sequential number for that week. The Ticket Number is the excavator’s legal proof they have contacted Diggers Hotline, and can be used to search for that ticket data for up to 6 years.
Excavators can also receive an emailed copy of their Ticket/Locate Request if they choose.
Start Date & Time
The Start Date & Time is the day and time an excavator is legally allowed to begin excavating. Start Dates & Time will vary based on the type of ticket being filed. Non-emergency initial tickets (Standard Tickets) have a minimum Start Date & Time of 3 working days and a maximum of 30 calendar days from the day and time the excavator files the ticket with Diggers Hotline.
Emergencies, relocates, and appointments can all have different Start Dates & Times as either established by State Statute or Diggers Hotline policy.
Working Days are any day other than Saturday, Sunday, or legal holidays (as defined by Wisconsin State Statute.) Working hours are 6am to 6pm within Working Days.
Planning Tickets are non-excavation tickets typically filed by engineers or surveyors when a project is still in the design stage.
The statute allows a Planning Ticket a minimum Start Date & Time of 10 calendar days from the current day and time. Statute also allows the designer (person filing the ticket) to request a field locate, exchange prints with the facility owners, or both responses.
A Ticket is considered “Valid” by Diggers Hotline if the excavator’s work began within 10 calendar days of the Ticket’s Start Date & Time and excavation work has not stopped for more than 10 calendar days at any point.
Crew on Site Relocate
The Crew on Site relocate was created by Diggers Hotline to assist excavators in getting a quick-response locate request when marks are destroyed due to construction activity or weather and the excavation company is waiting on site to continue excavating.
To qualify for a Crew on Site relocate, the excavator must have a Valid Ticket, and have a crew either on site or en route to the worksite.
The Crew On Site relocate will set the Start Date & Time a minimum of 1 hour from the current date and time (within normal Working Days/Hours) and a maximum of 24 hours from the current date and time.
The 1 hour Start Date & Time is the time member facility owner have to respond to this ticket. Member facility owner response can be either the conducting of the field locate or contacting the excavator directly to let them know when the locate will be performed. If locating cannot be done within the 1 hour Start Date & Time, member facility owners have to locate as soon as practical, generally within 3-4 hours.
24 Hour Relocate
The 24 Hour Relocate was created by Diggers Hotline to assist excavators in getting a quick-response locate request when marks are missing or destroyed due to construction activity or weather. The 24 Hour Relocate is used instead of a Crew on Site Relocate when the excavator does not need an immediate (1 hour) response or the excavator’s crew is not on site.
To qualify for a 24 Hour Relocate, the excavator must have a Valid Ticket.
The 24 Hour relocate will set the Start Date & Time a minimum of 24 hours from the current date and time (within normal Working Days/Hours) and a maximum of 72 hours from the current date and time.
Member facility owners must locate their facilities by the Start Date & Time.
The No-Show Relocate was created by Diggers Hotline to address situations where member facility owner locators do not mark their facilities or respond to the Planning Ticket by the legal Start Date & Time.
To qualify for a No-Show Relocate, the excavator must have a Valid Ticket, and have a crew either on site or en route to the worksite.
The No-Show Relocate will set the Start Date & Time a minimum of 1 hour from the current date and time (within normal Working Days/Hours) and a maximum of 24 hours from the current date and time.
The 1 hour Start Date & Time is the time a member facility owner has to respond to this ticket. A member facility owner response can be either the conducting of the field locate (or providing Prints as requested for the Planning Ticket) or contacting the excavator directly to let them know when the locate will be performed. If locating cannot be done within the 1 hour Start Date & Time, member facility owners have to locate as soon as practical, generally within 3-4 hours.
The No-Show Relocate also requires the excavator to identify which member facility owners have not responded to the original ticket. Member facility owners who have responded properly to the original Ticket/Locate Request will be suppressed from the No-Show Relocate and will not receive a copy of the Ticket. Member facility owners identified by the excavator as having not located by the Start Date & Time will be sent the No-Show Relocate ticket by Diggers Hotline.
The Appointment Ticket was created by Diggers Hotline to allow excavators to meet with locators to explain complex projects prior to locating occurring.
The Appointment Ticket will establish an Appointment Date & Time which will be a minimum of 3 working days from the current date and time. The Appointment Time can only be between 9am and 3pm on a working day.
The Start Date & Time will then be a minimum of 3 working days from the Appointment Date & Time, resulting in an overall minimum of 6 working days from the day and time the Appointment Ticket is filed with Diggers Hotline.
Appointment Tickets are allowed to use Crew on Site and No-Show Relocates as long as the requirements for those tickets are met by the excavator.
The Project Ticket was created by Diggers Hotline to assist excavators and locators with large, ongoing excavation projects such as road construction, main burial, or site development.
A Project Ticket is filed as an Appointment Ticket. At the appointment, the excavator and locators will establish the parameters for ongoing locating (including the frequency of when relocating should occur) of the project. Those parameters should be documented, contact information provided, signed and exchanged between all parties.
Excavators will then be able to contact the locators directly for any future relocates needed outside of the parameters agreed upon. Excavators can also contact the locators directly if anything has changed with the project that would impact those original parameters.
If the agreed upon parameters are not being met by any of the locators, the excavator can contact Diggers Hotline for a relocate ticket. The crew-on-site relocate option would be allowed, as with all Appointment Tickets.
Multiple Dig Site
The Multiple Dig Site ticket was created by Diggers Hotline to address unique ticket filing challenges posed by specific municipal-wide projects involving many vertical excavations. Vertical excavation involves digging straight down without extending out in a specific direction. Examples of vertical excavation projects which would qualify for the Multiple Dig Site ticket are: municipal tree planting, utility pole installations, sign post install or replacement, and soil borings. The Multiple Dig Site ticket allows excavators to file one ticket for an area where many vertical excavations may occur instead of filing many tickets.
Multiple Dig Site tickets can be no larger than a municipality and multiple tickets will be required for each municipality if the project extends to other communities.
The Multiple Dig Site ticket is filed as an Appointment Ticket, and the contractor is required to work closely with the locators on the ticket to ensure the locators have enough time to accurately mark facilities. Providing a project map or list of addresses is beneficial to assist locators with staying ahead of the work. A relocate of a Multiple Vertical Dig Site Ticket will be handled the same as a relocate of an Appointment Ticket.
Stretch of Road
The Stretch of Road ticket was created by Diggers Hotline to assist facility owner and municipal projects where certain types of work are occurring parallel to a single road. Examples of the type of work allowed on a Stretch of Road ticket are: utility main burial/replacement, shoulder grading, and utility pole installation/replacement. Additional tickets will be required for installation of service laterals or if the project turns onto a different street.
Stretches of Road which are two miles or less can be filed as a Standard or Planning Ticket. Work sites more than two miles in length may be broken up into separate Stretch of Road tickets of 2 miles or less, or filed as a Project Ticket.
A maximum radius of 100 feet will be allowed at each intersection. Any location request that exceeds 100 feet at intersections will require additional tickets.
A Ticket/Locate Request filed for non-emergency work. The default start date and time will be 3 working days from the current date and time.
A Ticket/Locate Request which may be requested when excavation must begin prior to the standard 3 working days due to one of the following conditions being met:
- The unforeseen excavation, which, if not performed, could result in the loss of life or limb.
- The excavation is required to repair the outage of an existing service.
- Excavation is required prior to three business days in order to prevent property damage.
- An unstable condition exists which may result in any of the conditions listed above (for example, a leak in any service or main, or a fault in a primary or secondary wire and/or cable).
- FOR FACILITY OWNERS ONLY: Immediate excavation is required by the facility owner to move, abandon, or cut off any facilities due to receiving less than three business days notice from a contractor.
An Emergency ticket will set the Start Date & Time a minimum of 1 hour from the current date and time. Emergency ticket Start Dates & Times will be set any time of the day or night, and are not bound by Working Day or Working Time parameters.
The 1 hour Start Date & Time is the time member facility owners have to respond to this ticket. Member facility owner responses can be either the conducting of the field locate or contacting the excavator directly to let them know when the locate will be performed. If locating cannot be done within the 1 hour Start Date & Time, member facility owners have to locate as soon as practical, generally within 3-4 hours.
Relocate (3 Working Day)
If a Ticket/Locate Request is not “Valid” and locate markings are either missing or destroyed, the excavator can file a 3 working day Relocate.
The 3 Working Day Relocate will set the default Start Date & Time 3 working days from the current date and time.
A Ticket/Locate Request where actual excavation in the immediate future is not intended. Rather, an excavation project is in the planning stage and information on the location of existing facilities is being sought.
Planning Tickets allow for the requesting of field markings, providing of records (prints), or both responses.
Planning tickets will have a default Start Date & Time of 10 calendar days from the current date and time.