Budget building spending boost risks lives if digs go wrong…

Budget building spending boost risks lives if digs go wrong…

Government contractors are being urged to engage a Certified Locator when undertaking excavations to reduce the risk of injuries as the federal budget sees a boost to infrastructure spending.

Dial Before You Dig Queensland’s General Manager Paul Newman said the $5 billion increase in infrastructure spending earmarked for Queensland in the budget was likely to see a hike in the number of digs going wrong during excavations.

“When a cable or pipe is struck, there is always the risk of serious injury or potentially a fatality on top of the disruption to services,” Mr Newman said.

“In 2017 there were more than 10,000 incidents across Queensland impacting hospital services, telecommunications and electricity and gas supplies due to strikes of underground cables and pipes.

“While fortunately there were no deaths, with the multi-billion dollar boost to infrastructure projects in the budget we expect the number of digs going wrong to go much higher so the risk to serious injuries is also likely to go up.”

Mr Newman said while most contractors are taking the first step in checking with DBYD to access maps before they begin excavations, the failure to go the next step and use a Certified Locator is continuing to cause major issues.

“We believe contractors working on federal and state government project should be required to use a Certified Locator,” he said.

“It often takes someone with appropriate qualifications like a Certified Locator to correctly interpret where underground pipes and cables are laid and avoid a strike causing massive disruption.”

Mr Newman said DBYD, an industry body, provided training and Locator Certification with a nationally industry-recognised qualification.