A Health and Safety plan must be used for engineering works. This plan would include details on restrictions to engineering work such as the location of belowground utility apparatus. So, typically, well before a rail engineer goes onto a site, a desktop underground services search should be undertaken.
To research the location of underground pipes, cables, and other services around a rail site can be exceedingly time-consuming, frustrating and frankly at times boring, but it has to be done. Without it projects can be delayed, leading to additional costs overruns or, worse still, utility assets may be damaged, possibly leading to serious injury to those on site and expensive litigation.
Groundwise Searches Ltd has spent the last ten years providing a solution for clients requiring utility asset data. Their utility search service means the engineer just has to make one single request to Groundwise and they will liaise with all the utilities to acquire the essential data on services locations.
Report Online system at www.groundwise.com
enables the engineer to select their site by grid reference or visual mapping references. The engineer can then highlight the boundary of the site using the map tools and the Ordnance Survey base layer. Once the engineer submits their site plan the GIS database that sits behind the online map gets to work. This will recognise any site and immediately work out the utilities that cover the area around that site. These can include dangerous features such as electricity cables, gas pipes and oil pipes or less serious, but very costly if damaged, fibre and communication networks.
A typical site investigation by Groundwise may require over thirty requests to different utilities. In the old days to even identify which utilities to contact may take over a week but the system identifies this list in seconds. They take this output and quickly get a buried services search underway. All this takes minutes, is incredibly accurate, safe, and cost-effective.
David Gunn, the managing director of Groundwise observes: “Obtaining safety critical utility information should be so straightforward but in practice it is difficult, verging on the impossible for the inexperienced. Requesters and the owners of utility data need to work hard to streamline the process and make it more efficient and accessible. We are surprised at the number of surveying companies that feel a utility search should simply contain electricity, water, sewers, gasand BT, these are the very basic searches and to be concerned with this limited information shows poor effort when so many more utilities are likely to be uncovered in the field.”
For the engineer, liaising with utility map departments is best left to specialist research companies who are able to invest and develop systems to manage the paper trail and vast amounts of data that can be uncovered. Engineers are then free to do what they do best for their client, which is certainly not chasing up utility location map requests.
For further information, please contact:
Groundwise Searches Ltd
Tel: 01702 615 566