USAG was recently invited to attend a buried services seminar near Tidworth Garrison in South Wiltshire run by Aspire Defence Capital Works and MUJV for their staff and contractors.
Particularly impressive how their implementation and supervision of the permit to dig has along with other measures reduced their recent strike rate to zero on their construction sites. A great turn out for the day to reinforce the damage prevention message and to thank all the hard work their staff and contractors have put in to achieving this goal.
Keep up the good work.
The Utility Strike Avoidance Group (USAG) 2017 and 2018 Utility Strike Damages Report has now been published and is available to download. The purpose of the report is to highlight what causes the most damages and provide scope and recommendations to:
1. Avoid future damages
2. Improve the ability to analyse the strike data in future years.
The report is for the benefit of UKPLC including utility companies, contractors, developers, consultants, regulators, government and the general public.
With many thanks to those that contributed data as part of their commitment to the safe digging charter and a reminder that the process of data collection for damages in 2019 will begin in the second quarter of 2020. Data collection forms for 2019 are already available here. Please take the time to share this report far and wide to all those involved in excavation works that may come in close proximity to essential utility services. Thank You
Health and Safety Executive have fined a contractor after a worker was engulfed in flames and suffered more than 50% burns following an 11kV cable strike whilst installing fencepost holes.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the contractor failed to source and refer to the underground services plans prior to breaking the ground to determine the location of any cables within the planned working area. They also failed to provide their operatives with cable identification equipment to further locate any cables within that area'
This unfortunate incident demonstrates the criticality of positively identifying and avoiding utility assets within your worksite to keep your workers safe from harm. More details on the use of best practice to reduce this risk can be found on our website which is free to use.
I will be presenting at the Utility Week. Health, Safety and Wellbeing Conference in Birmingham on 27th November. You can get £50 off a ticket by up to 18th October by using the discount code PC20 https://event.utilityweek.co.uk/hs/
Birmingham major city centre street flooded due to third party damage to 9 inch water main. Main city library and businesses closed for the day. In 2016 the university of Birmingham published a study that concluded that for every £1000 of direct costs to repair the damage there are £29,000 of indirect costs such as loss of business, and traffic disruption. In the case of this incident in a main street full of restaurants and bars the value is likely to be much higher.
A 35 metre section of 110kV cable has been damaged on bridge in Brisbane, Australia .Fortunately there were no injuries but a very expensive repair is had to be undertaken. Traffic lanes were closed on the main arterial route into the city causing traffic chaos. Make sure your planners, designers and workers are following best practice to avoid damages like this. A video from local news can be viewed below.
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USAG is a proud supporter of the 2019 Utility Week Health, Safety and Wellbeing Conference taking place on 27 November 2019 in Birmingham.
Join 130+ health, safety and wellbeing professionals from the UK’s largest utilities to explore how to successfully build a clear, strong and effective health and safety culture, also debate whether enough is being done to protect the mental health of the workforce.
Speakers from USAG and our members Thames Water, E.ON, Northern Gas Networks, Southern Water, Skanska, Mace and more will get to grips with what can be learnt from outside the industry, how to attract the next generation to health and safety, and explore the opportunities of technology and innovation in reducing incidents.
As a supporter, we can offer our members a preferential rate to attend – to view full details and book, visit https://event.utilityweek.co.uk/hs/ and quote promo code USAG15 to get 15% off your place.
The Health and Safety Executive has released UK workplace fatality figures for 2018/19. In the construction sector this amounted to 30 fatalities out of a total of 147. Whilst this is the lowest annual number on record for the sector it does still account for a large proportion of the total and is little comfort to the family and friends of those that lost their lives at work.
No stats currently available for fatalities directly due to damage to utilities, there were 4 due to contact with electricity and a further 5 from exposure to an explosion. Working and excavating around utilities continues to be a key risk in the construction sector so contractors, utilities and service providers continue to work together within USAG to promote safe digging practices. You can read the full report on the HSE website by clicking below.
Phil Cornforth is a Damage Prevention, Health and Safety professional working in the construction and utilities industry. He sits on the USAG Steering Group. The USAG has one goal - to avoid utilities and so prevent injury, damage, disruption and raise the standards of our industry.
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