Electronic Locate Report Requirements

July 26, 2018


When working on an excavation project, the excavator is required by law to have the public locate reports available for review. For many years the acceptable format has been paper. The TSSA required the following for paper locate reports:


  • Minimum size of 8.5 x 11 inches

  • Locate report shall be legible and free of defect

  • All pages of the locate report shall be accessible at all times and available at the request of the TSSA inspector.

Not conforming to these requirements would usually result in an administration fee in the range of $500 being issued to the excavator.


With the convenience of smartphones, tablets, and laptops that are connected to the Internet wirelessly, it has become a common practice on excavation projects to bring public and private locate reports to a work site electronically. There has been much debate within best practice committees as to what is an acceptable electronic format and the TSSA recently issued an advisory in October stating their electronic locate acceptable requirements. The TSSA acceptable electronic locate report formats are limited to the following:

  • Device shall be operable

  • Minimum 7-inch diagonal screen/tablet

  • Viewing screen shall be free of defect

  • Each page of the locate report shall be legible and viewable in its entirety

  • All pages of the locate report shall be accessible at all times and available at the request of a TSSA inspector

Based on these requirements, it appears that smartphone


s are not an acceptable format as there is currently no smartphone on the market that has a 7-inch diagonal screen.


If you have any questions or would like a copy of the TSSA Advisory, please contact OWN Your Safety at info@ownyoursafety.com.


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