PREDICTING A DAMAGE

Predictive analytics represents a crucial application of artificial intelligence (AI) in our industry, harnessing the power of data to drive insights and optimize decision-making processes. As we delve deeper into the complexities of underground utility management, the importance of accurate and timely information cannot be overstated. The better quality data we can gather from various sources, such as historical records, …

SERVING UP SAFETY

Imagine walking into a restaurant and telling the chef, “I’m hungry. Can you make me something?” Without any specifics, the chef embarks on a culinary adventure, asking numerous questions about your preferences, allergies, and dietary restrictions. They ponder the ingredients available, the season, and even recall your past visits. After much deliberation and several taste tests, the chef finally serves …

HARNESSING TRANSFERABLE SKILLS FROM THE ARMY

USIC announced this week a partnership with the U.S. Army Reserve’s P3O Program where they would provide employment opportunities to veterans. I think this is a big win-win for everyone involved and I wanted to highlight it this week in my article. Every year I hear about high turnover in the industry and issues finding good staff. This seems like …

FACT CHECK: MYTHS ABOUT UTILITY LOCATING

Determining the precise locations of underground utilities and subsurface structures can get pretty complicated and is fraught with misconceptions. From the widely held belief that calling 811 will unveil all buried lines to assumptions about the infallibility of ground penetrating radar (GPR), let’s unravel some of the common myths surrounding utility locating and equip you with the facts essential for …

INSURANCE & RISK SCORING IN DAMAGE PREVENTION

Over the last few weeks, there have been some major stories coming out of the insurance industry, particularly in regions prone to natural disasters like California. State Farm’s recent decision to discontinue coverage for a substantial number of properties in the state serves as a potent example of these shifts. The rationale behind this move included escalating costs, heightened risk …

SHOULD LOCATING BE REGULATED

I was skimming through r/utilitylocator the other night and came across a post which asked “Should Utility Locating & SUE be regulated?” and I thought it would be interesting to open up the discussion here.  For context, the original poster of the question strongly believes that private utility locating should be regulated to some extent, similar to how other professions …

THE CASE FOR ELECTRONIC WHITE LINING

Looking forward to 2028, with the set target of achieving the 50 in 5 milestone, the excavation industry faces significant challenges ahead. However, it’s reassuring to note that many of the solutions needed for progress are already accessible and implemented in various states or industries. This week I’m looking at electronic white lining which I mentioned in my post yesterday …

ADOPTING THE RIGHT MINDSET

Utility locating is truly a multifaceted craft, requiring a blend of independence, adaptability, problem-solving, attention to detail, and expertise. Each fresh locate presents its own set of challenges and surprises, demanding not only the standard array of equipment but also the right attitude, awareness, an open mind, positivity, a reliable phone, and even a hefty chunk of metal. Let’s delve …

STANDARDIZING DELIVERABLES

A Critical Imperative for Safety and Efficiency We’ve been onboarding a lot of new clients lately and part of my role is information gathering. During this time I take a look at their previous processes and paperwork. The huge variance in quality of reports is pretty alarming, and I thought it would be worth exploring the need for standardization in …

PROACTIVE MEASURES

Safeguarding Utility Infrastructure The old adage “prevention is better than cure” succinctly captures the essence of proactive decision-making especially in damage prevention. Emphasizing the importance of foresight and precautionary measures, this saying underscores the value of averting problems before they arise rather than addressing them after the fact.  This isn’t always possible in damage prevention but right now the American …