Gold Shovel Standard Commitment to Safety

Every six minutes in the United States, an underground utility line is damaged during excavation work. In 2014, PG&E experienced nearly 2,000 dig-ins to our underground facilities—that's almost six dig-ins per day, resulting in $11 million in damage for the year.


In response, PG&E launched the Gold Shovel Standard, a first-of-its kind excavation safety program designed to reduce dig-ins and protect PG&E's underground gas and electric system. With safety as our highest priority, PG&E developed the Gold Shovel Standard Certification process to ensure that PG&E's hired contractors adhere to the safest excavation standards. Safe excavation prevents injuries, property damage, inconvenient outages, project delays and high costs.

Gold Shovel Standard policy checklist and guide

Policy Checklist and Guide

Get details on how to create a Dig-In Prevention Policy for your company that meets Gold Shovel Standard requirements.

Gold Shovel Standard FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about the Gold Shovel Standard Certification process and safe digging practices for contractors.

Gold Shovel Standard Application

Submit Application Form

Upload and submit your completed Dig-In Prevention Policy and required application materials.

Certification Requirements

Beginning January 1, 2016, contractors who wish to excavate or subcontract out excavation work for PG&E must obtain Gold Shovel Standard Certification by making a commitment to safe digging practices in accordance with the California "One Call Law" (California Government Code 4216) and the Common Ground Alliance best practices for excavation.


To become Gold Shovel Standard certified, contractors must perform no more than two dig-ins within a rolling 12-month period and develop and adhere to a Dig-In Prevention Policy that includes the following:

  • Excavation Statement signed by a corporate officer or owner
  • Training Program covering the requirements of the One Call Law and Cal-OSHA's Construction Safety Orders
    Learn about the One Call Law: Visit carcga.org
    Learn about Cal-OSHA's Construction Safety Orders: Visit dir.ca.gov
  • Corrective Action Plan identifying dig-in causes and corrective measures
  • Employee Acknowledgment and Accountability Statement giving all employees a way to report company activity that violates excavation laws without fear of retribution

Once a contractor has received three validated at-fault dig-ins to our underground facilities, the details of these dig-ins will be sent to the Gold Shovel Standard Review Committee and a contractor status will be determined.

Gold Shovel Certified Contractors

Gold Shovel Certified Contractors

Scores of contractors now have Gold Shovel Certification.

Contact Us

If you still have questions after reading our frequently asked questions, please contact PG&E's Damage Prevention group.
Email: damageprevention@pge.com