'Watch Out, Cables About' Energy Networks Association have issued a press release regarding the dangers of digging near underground cables. Now that there is an increase in excavation works a lockdown restrictions begin to ease it is essential that workers remember the basic safety measures to stay safe. The above document is available to download and distribute to excavations teams to remind them of basic safety procedures.
Due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the covid 19 situation the day has been postponed unti later in the year to ensure the safety of all guests. You can still purchase tickets here
The February newsletter from USAG is now available. Please take the time to read and share throughout your organisation and teams. A web version is available here and you can sign up for future news by hitting the contact us button.
USAG is a not for profit group established by the utility and excavation industries which provides a forum for all sectors of the industry. We promote safe working practices that reduce and prevent damages to essential underground utility services and improve health and safety outcomes for those digging near cables and pipes.
Here at USAG we are pleased to support the Damage Prevention Day 2020. There is always an excellent turnout from utility owners to contractors, safety managers and personnel. We all have the shared goal of reducing damages and improving safety for those carrying out excavation tasks and keeping the lights, heating, water, internet and other essential services on for the nation.
Once again LSBUD (LinesearchbeforeUdig) will be hosting the day for the industry in 2020 and we would thoroughly recommend attending. If you have have products and services which you can promote to the utility, construction and safety sectors at their adjoining exhibition then get in touch with the LSBUD team here
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.
Phil Cornforth is a Damage Prevention, Health and Safety professional working in the construction and utility 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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