Committed to worker safety and damage prevention
By Ron Podbielski and Shannon Doka, Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance
Do you remember the year 2007?
The third instalments of the Spiderman and Shrek movie series were the top grossing movies of the year. Apple released the very first iPhone. And in November, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, led by quarterback Kerry Joseph, claimed their third Grey Cup with a victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Toronto.
But there was also an especially important milestone in the world of public safety that year.
That’s because the Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance (SCGA) was formed. We’re proud to be celebrating 15 years of a network of businesses and communities committed to damage prevention in our province.
Prior to 2007, there were many parties who saw the benefits of educating the public on the need to protect not only the billions of dollars of underground infrastructure that provide the services we rely on, but also the safety of those working around it.
But mostly, these companies and communities were pursuing their safety programs individually, without a wider network to share resources, discuss best practices and coordinate activities. From its modest beginnings, the SCGA grew to offer members a way to work together – right at a period when Saskatchewan’s economy (as well as its digging activity) began to experience tremendous growth.
Over the past 15 years, the SCGA has collaborated tirelessly with its partners to promote safe digging and construction practices to frontline workers and to the general public.
The SCGA spring series of contractor Dig Safe breakfasts in communities across Saskatchewan has been a tremendous tool in promoting these safety messages to thousands of frontline workers.
The SCGA has also developed a series of professionally produced education videos on a variety of topics, as well as safety information cards and resources on its website, www.scga.ca. The SCGA produces a quarterly newsletter to share and posts content on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The SCGA partnership with Sask1stcall.com has allowed us to take our safety focus to the tens of thousands of digging projects every year in Saskatchewan. And our members share a commitment to promote best practices through joint discussion and tools like the Damage Information Reporting Tool (D.I.R.T).
Another highlight was the 2021 launch of our Youth Ground Disturbance Program, a free safety training initiative for students aged 14 to 21, delivered in cooperation with the Saskatchewan Safety Council and Heavy Construction Safety Association of Saskatchewan.
We are proud that today, we have grown to 95 members and sponsors who share our vision of a safe digging community where everyone works safely, comes home to their families at the end of the day and protect the vital underground infrastructure that we all depend on.
Thank you for your support and we look forward to where the next 15 years takes us, together in partnership with all of Saskatchewan.