Over the past two decades in the U.S. there have been over 400 fatalities and nearly 2000 injuries attributed to hitting underground infrastructure during excavations. It has been estimated that unreliable location information about underground infrastructure represents a $50 billion to $100 billion drag on the U.S. economy, multiple £ billions in the U.K. and € 1 billion in the Netherlands. Comparing the United States and Japan reveals a startling difference in the number of incidents of underground utility damage during construction. In the U.S. the number of incidents is between 400,000 and 800,000 per year (roughly one or two every minute). For Japan the number of incidents in 2016 was 134. Clearly something can be done to reduce the risk for construction workers and the public and the economic impact.
Many jurisdictions in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific have implemented policies and organizational structures for sharing information about the location of underground infrastructure. These include comprehensive programs involving many different stakeholders, government mandated and run, government mandated and industry financed and run, industry supported and privately run, and municipally mandated and run. Statistics reveal that a comprehensive approach involving policies, technologies and construction practices is required to be successful in developing a program for continuing improvement in reducing utility damage during construction. Based on a review of international initiatives for improving location information about underground infrastructure, a set of 25 recommended elements have been compiled that should be considered by jurisdictions intending to develop such a program.
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This white paper, prepared for the Geospatial Information and Technology Association by Geoff Zeiss and Dr. Sakura Shinoaki, is available FREE to download. Please take the time to fill out the short order form below to download. Click Here to download