Striking It Out: How Can the Industry Cut down Utility Strikes?

Striking It Out: How Can the Industry Cut down Utility Strikes?

Water & Wastewater Treatment Online

One of the biggest health and safety dangers that water sector workers can encounter when working below ground is making accidental contact with electrical cables or gas pipelines. Without the right preparations, these utility strikes – also known as service strikes or hits – can occur alarmingly regularly and can result in serious injury or even death.

Tens of thousands are believed to occur in the UK every year, exposing workers to risks including electrocution and explosion. The issue is costly and disruptive as well as dangerous: huge sums can be spent rectifying the damage caused by ill-judged digging, while at the very least, incidents of this type – including hits on unlooked-for water pipes – lead to delay and have a service impact on customers.

In the absence of a unified, mandatory reporting structure, the numbers are impossible to verify, but there are estimated to be around 4 million excavations in the UK annually, resulting in approximately 60,000 strikes…(Read the full story)

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