Gold Shovel Standard

What is Gold Shovel Standard Certification?
Gold Shovel Standard (GSS) is a somewhat new industry certification, and is still evolving to best support industry goals. GSS is designed to increase excavation safety, by decreasing incidents that cause damage to property. The Gold Shovel Standard is gaining popularity among energy industry leaders such as Kinder Morgan and Pacific Gas & Electric; credible sources suggest that GSS will be the industry benchmark for excavation excellence in coming years.

In other words, if you are an excavator – you don’t want to miss the Gold Shovel train!

What Gold Shovel Standard Means to Contractors
Are you planning to work for Kinder Morgan, or Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)? If so, it is likely that you will be required to complete the GSS audit and certification process. Below you will find a list of documents required for GSS certification.

Excavation Statement

  • This document obligates your company to safe digging practices and other items as conditions of GSS

Training Curriculum

  • Excavation safety specific training content must be submitted, and must meet GSS required elements for acceptable training content

Training Quiz

  • Reflection of the Training Curriculum submitted, and must meet GSS minimum standard(s) for excavation safety training.

Employee Safety Acknowledgment Statement

  • Only affected workers are required to sign this one – its purpose is to confirm attendance at training and agreeing to follow company procedures.

Incident Investigation Form

  • Designed to record accurate information about excavation related damage at the time of the incident. Only a sample of your template is required – you are not required to submit a completed one.
  • Corrective Action Plan
    • Similar to a Root Cause Analysis and Mitigation Plan
    • OSHA 300A form (most recent, with signature)

Important Note:

The documents listed above are not generic templates; they must contain specific language required by GSS as well as state specific excavation laws, in order to pass the GSS audit.

In addition to submitting the required documents, you must also submit payment to Gold Shovel. Gold Shovel will not review your submitted documents, and they will not award GSS Certification until the subscription payment has been processed. Subscription rates are on a sliding scale, and are based on your company’s total number of employees.

A quick note about subscription pricing:

you do not have to pay the fee until you’ve completed all document submissions, and are ready for the audit. This means that you can obtain a username and password, complete all questionnaires and submit all documents for review before you ever pay a dime.

How We Can Help
Whether you are just getting started with Gold Shovel, or if you have been working through the process for a while – our company can get you certified!

We will begin with a review of your current documents and programs, to develop a plan of action. We can either modify your current documents to meet the Gold Shovel Standard, or we can create new documents from scratch – whichever you prefer. In some cases, it does not make sense to provide you with new documents, if your program can be modified to work.

Industry Tip – templates are the preferred method of completion for most consultants like us – it is simply less work, and takes less time to use templates instead of modifying contractors’ existing documents. Companies like ours are able to scale by using templates, because it costs them less, but again – templates are not always the best solutionWe do what’s best for you, so call us today!


Leave Comment