We are all the spark that powers change in underground utility damage prevention!

Our Mutual Mission

Planet Underground’s annual event, The Roundtable, has attracted the brightest minds and most innovative voices in Damage Prevention to discuss critical topics and exchange new ideas. The Roundtable is a catalyst for conversation on actions that will make the industry safer. Your opinion matters, whether a supplier, engineer, facility owner, contractor, locator, or other vital component of underground utility construction. 

A Knowledge Sharing Organization

Planet Underground is a knowledge-sharing organization focused on underground utility damage prevention. We produce media and networking events and offer easily accessible training solutions for detecting and avoiding underground utility lines. Our networking events provide valuable peer-to-peer learning experiences.

The phrase “detecting and avoiding underground utility lines” conjures up the notion that there are two sides to the problems that exist in damage prevention. Indeed, there are: the owners of underground pipe and cable systems and those that dig around them. Legislation creates ground rules for the two sides to follow during the excavation process, but vexing safety issues exist that cannot and will not be solved through legislation. While communication, planning and other forms of cooperation between owners and excavators can certainly go a long way, cooperation cannot work hand-in-hand with legislation to significantly reduce our country’s damage prevention problems. If they could, damages would be going down. Instead, damages continue to rise.

Planet Underground believes that the way forward is through education. The good news is that owners and excavators essentially need the same knowledge for success, because “detection and avoidance” are one in the same. The things we do, whether though video, print, live broadcast, or face-to-face gatherings, are all designed to educate. Our mission is simple: create an educational repository that addresses the common needs of owners and excavators and provide access to this repository through multiple platforms. 

Planet Underground creates training content for electromagnetic pipe and cable locating, utility system knowledge, utility map comprehension and visual observation skills training. We also build assessment tools for these subjects plus one-call ticket comprehension. Our media also covers the invaluable peer-to-peer learning process as we let people tell their story, whether it be at their job sites or at our events.

Our Origins

Planet Underground was formed when our affiliate, Staking University—a program offering training courses for professionals to get hands-on experience—was combined with our magazine, previously named Underground Focus. The magazine was founded in 1986 with a mission to help excavators and locators understand the opportunities available to them in their role in preventing jobsite damages.

In 2001, Planet Underground was established to bring new stories of industry professionals to life on screen. In 2016, our magazine became American Locator to emphasize the importance of being aware of utility locations in overall damage prevention. With print, digital and video communications firmly established and always rooted in education, we continue to push forward to expand our offerings and provide new insights with events such as our annual Roundtable of experts, hands-on excavation safety at The Jobsite and other unique opportunities.