Ground Disturbance 201 (Optional Proctoring)

ABCGA approved training for ground disturbance personnel


ABCGA approved training for ground disturbance personnel

This online course has official endorsement from the Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA). Previously known as the Alberta Damage Prevention Council, the ABCGA has the mission of improving safety for workers and the general public, while reducing the environmental footprint of ground activities.

What Is Ground Disturbance?

Ground disturbance refers to any activities that disturb the terrain, such as construction excavations and utility trenching. Ground disturbance can affect surrounding structures, and it can also damage underground installations. For example, an excavation without adequate planning can damage buried power lines or sewage piping. Even when there are no surrounding buildings or buried facilities, ground disturbance can have a negative environmental impact.

Course Overview

The Ground Disturbance 201 course is designed for professionals who must work with any type of ground disturbance, including project managers and site supervisors. You will obtain the following skills while taking this course:

  • Defining ground disturbance, and identifying the existing types in worksites.
  • Understanding and communicating the hazards of ground disturbance.
  • Compliance: Identifying the required permits and agreements for each activity.
  • Finding and identifying underground installations.
  • Understanding and describing ground disturbance regulations.
  • Understanding the responsibilities of project owners, and the personnel involved in ground disturbance activities.
  • Understanding safety requirements.

This online version of Ground Disturbance 201 was developed by ASTEC Safety Inc., covering the same topics as the classroom version. The course meets the content and evaluation requirements of the ABCGA Ground Disturbance 201 Standard. ASTEC Safety is a leading provider of safety training for companies in western Canada.

When starting a new project, contractors and their personnel must manage several risks and regulations. These include ground disturbance regulations, especially when projects involve heavy equipment. The Ground Disturbance 201 course meets national and provincial regulations, and also ABCGA guidelines for preventing damage to buried installations. The content is designed for workers from various industries who may require ground disturbance safety training:

  • Oil and gas
  • Wastewater
  • Construction
  • Power generation
ABCGA Endorsed Ground Disturbance

ASTEC Safety is a provider of high quality safety training for businesses throughout Western Canada. This Ground Disturbance 201 course complies with provincial and national ground disturbance regulations as well as ABCGA recommendations for avoiding buried facility damage. The ABCGA, formerly the Alberta Damage Prevention Council, is an open-membership organization that’s mission is to improve safety standards for workers and members of the public while reducing industry’s environmental footprint.

Therefore, this course is designed for workers in any number of industries—including oil and gas, sewage, petroleum, construction, and energy—who may require special training in ground disturbance safety before beginning work. Whether you’re a job planner, site supervisor, manager, contractor, or employee, this course will familiarize you with the regulations and legislation that govern ground disturbance standards, including Occupational Health & Safety, the Alberta Pipeline Act, and Industry Recommended Practices. If you’re digging or working with buried facilities, learning the appropriate rules and safety principles will keep you compliant and improve worker safety.

Regardless of your role in an organization, this course will get you familiarized with ground disturbance regulations and legislations, and best practices in the industry. The scope of the course covers the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOSH) regulations and the Alberta Pipeline Act.

The Ground Disturbance 201 online course will train you to identify common scenarios and the hazards they involve. When buried facilities are present, ground activities without safety protocols can cause accidents like electrical faults and sewage spills. By getting familiarized with regulations and best practices, companies can avoid these issues and improve worksite safety. After completing this course, you will be familiar with the activities where ground disturbance regulations come into play, which include:

    ✔ Auguring

    ✔ Blasting

    ✔ Backfilling

    ✔ Clearing

    ✔ Drilling

    ✔ Excavating

    ✔ Grading

    ✔ Levelling

    ✔ Plowing

    ✔ Quarrying

    ✔ Stripping

    ✔ Trenching

    ✔ Tunnelling

The completion time of this course is roughly 5 hours, which include practical exercises and testing. The passing score is 80%, and participants earn a 3-year certificate that can be downloaded. Virtual proctoring is available for an additional fee.


After taking this Ground Disturbance online course, workers should be able to:

  • Identify ground disturbance scenarios
  • Identify and mediate ground disturbance hazards
  • Explain relevant ground disturbance regulations
  • Maintain compliance with appropriate permits, licenses, approvals, and agreements
  • Deploy appropriate safety precautions related to ground disturbance
  • Identify and prevent interference with buried/underground facilities

Module A: Damage Prevention

  • Why damage prevention procedures are important.
  • Buried facilities: Damage exposure and consequences
  • Stakeholder responsibility
  • Damage prevention laws, regulations, industry organizations, and published media
  • Why damage prevention standards and ground disturbance training are important

Module B: Ground Disturbance Planning

  • What is ground disturbance?
  • Ground disturbance codes of practice: Importance and roles
  • Hazard assessment and emergency response plans: Requirements and importance
  • Ground disturbance approvals
  • Ground disturbance agreements
  • Onsite supervision roles and responsibilities

Module C: Preparing for a Ground Disturbance

  • Searching for buried facilities
  • Notification procedures and requirements
  • Locating buried facilities and locate requests
  • Locate marks: types and outline marking specifications
  • Regulations and industry requirements for hand expose zones
  • Pre-job meetings and their scope

Module D: The Execution and Completion of a Ground Disturbance

  • Ground disturbance permits
  • Tailgate meetings and their scope
  • Hand exposure: proper techniques and procedures
  • Excavation and backfilling
  • Requirements for damage management, incident reports, and investigation

Universally Compatible

This Ground Disturbance online course was created using standards that will allow playback on most internet capable devices with standard web browsing capabilities including Apple’s iTouch, iPad, and iPhone, as well as most other smart phones and tablets including those with Android and Windows operating systems.

Ground Disturbance Level 201


Average Completion Time

Completion times vary depending on the number of times the information is viewed prior to finishing the course. The average completion time is 5 hours.


Knowledge Assessment

Testing is conducted in this online course to reinforce the information presented. You are provided three opportunities to achieve a passing mark of 80% or greater.


Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of this course, a certificate will be available to download and print. You can access your certificate through your online account.

ABCGA Approved Ground Disturbance 201