Thank you for choosing to take the time to read this Australian edition of the Damage Prevention Professional. Throughout these pages you will find insightful articles written by Australian stakeholders, for Australian stakeholders, dealing with Australian issues. Dial Before You Dig offers information on the essential first step of any digging project through their Best Practices guide beginning on page 45. You will also find a special insert on the inaugural Oceania Damage Prevention Conference (ODPC) coming to the Gold Coast Convention Center August 20-23, 2018.
This conference is unlike any other event for stakeholders committed to the protection of buried utilities. This event is the first-ever opportunity of this scale allowing facility owners, contractors, locators, government representatives, and other interested parties a forum to meet and discuss industry best practices and learn about the future of damage prevention. Attracting delegates from around the world, this is truly an international event.
Leaders in the Oceania region have already embraced this important industry event. Platinum sponsor Dial Before You Dig, a leader in the damage prevention community of experts and an advocate for all stakeholders in Australia, lends their voice, and explains their reasons for supporting this event in Stuart Burdack’s article on page 26.
In the excavation community, there is a good understanding of the immediate impacts of striking utilities. No excavator wants the financial burden a strike implies – from repair costs to down time to potential legal action. Further, compromising a gas or electric line offers an immediate threat to the excavator’s well-being and puts a healthy fear into people digging near these facilities. What isn’t considered as fully is the societal costs associated to impacting utilities that don’t necessarily represent immediate danger. A few of the many societal costs include:
- Loss of communications to airports, hospitals, schools and other essential services
- Loss of emergency services (000, police, fire)
- Contamination of public-use water systems
- Damage to company’s reputation
- Increased traffic around damage site
- Environmental damage
- Loss of commerce for businesses in or near damage site
As committed stakeholders, Damage Prevention Professional readers know damages and injuries are extremely rare when all stakeholders are educated. This 3-day event provides education focusing on initiatives and progress across the Oceania region, along with collaborative approaches toward best practices from around the world. Attendees will return home with ideas, improvements, and new approaches to damage prevention they can effectively implement in their own communities.
Supported by a variety of industry associations, and partnering with multiple media outlets, ODPC is taking an important step forward in advancing damage prevention and safe excavation practices throughout Australia, New Zealand, and other Oceania countries.