Kinder Morgan Canada (KMC) has high expectations for anyone who’s disturbing the ground in proximity to the Trans Mountain Pipelines.

As part of its full-time commitment to public safety and the integrity of buried infrastructure, KMC takes a leadership role in promoting the Gold Shovel Standard in Canada. The Gold Shovel Standard is a non-profit, North American organization committed to improving workforce and public safety and the integrity of buried infrastructure.

As Andrew Mark, KMC’s program manager for damage prevention and public awareness explains, although April is annually proclaimed Dig Safe Month across Canada, people should be connecting with a “One Call” service year-round to find out if there are any underground facilities buried in or near a job site before breaking ground. 

The Gold Shovel Standard aims to raise the bar for all this activity, advocating for continuous improvement in safety standards related to ground disturbance and working towards increasingly safe working conditions. The standard promotes safety through performance measurements, technology and universal participation in the one-call process.

“We go above and beyond regulation with our safe digging practices and obligations.

Kinder Morgan is a supporter of the Gold Shovel Standard. It’s a way to measure a contractor’s competency for safe digging,” Mark said.

To be certified, contractors must demonstrate effective safety management systems for the protection of buried infrastructure, such as pipelines, gas lines and power lines. This includes requirements for training all employees involved in ground disturbance and reporting any incidents involving excavation damage.

“KMC is the first pipeline operator in Canada to adopt the Gold Shovel Standard. We lead by example,” Mark said. “We advocate this standard for all third parties carrying out ground disturbance work in the vicinity of Trans Mountain Pipelines — and we’ve made it mandatory for our own workers as well as contractors carrying out work on our behalf.”

Mark noted that KMC completed a series of Gold Shovel Standard workshops in July 2018 and is actively working with its excavation contractors to ensure they meet they company’s industry-leading standards for this work.

KMC in 2017 began the process of requiring all its own contractors to be certified. In 2018, that process is complete. “We are at 100 per cent of active contractors. It’s mandatory, full stop. If you do not have it, you are not eligible to work for us.”

The next steps, Mark added, are to evaluate contractors who have complied with the Gold Shovel Standard and assess the effectiveness of the program itself.

“We completed the process of qualifying people and implementing the standard. We are now in the process of evaluating those contractors with the Gold Shovel Standard. The next step is to assess the effectiveness of their safe digging program and that will be conducted in 2018 and 2019.

“The Gold Shovel Standard continues to gain momentum in the US and we’re looking for it to gain momentum in Canada also.”

Please visit the Gold Shovel Standard website for further information. You can get contact information here for Click Before You Dig.