SYNERGIES: LET’S COLLABORATE

In the world of excavation safety and infrastructure protection, a multifaceted approach is essential to mitigate risks and ensure the integrity of underground utilities. This article explores the intersection of collaborative efforts, information sharing, and subsurface utility engineering in fostering safer excavation practices. By combining these elements, stakeholders can enhance compliance with 811 laws, boost private locate usage, and empower …

BUILDING A STRONG LOCATING TEAM

Retaining staff and building your locate division is a tricky endeavor. As utility locating continues to gain prominence in the construction and infrastructure sectors, the importance of assembling a skilled and dedicated team cannot be overstated. Whether you’re a seasoned industry veteran or a burgeoning startup, attracting and retaining top talent is crucial for the success and growth of your …

ROBOTS IN DAMAGE PREVENTION

If we’re going to meet the 50-in-5 target we’re going to need to continue to innovate in preventing damage to underground utilities. This week one of our team was at a Tesla store in LA and seen their robot Optimus and it triggered me to look at where we’re currently using robotics in damage prevention and what’s coming up next! …

MAKING THE CASE FOR LOCATOR CERTIFICATION

A Vital Step in Damage Prevention Last week I attended Mike Parilac’s impactful presentation at the Louisiana 811 Damage Prevention Summit, the importance of locator certification in the field of utility management became glaringly apparent. As an observer at the Utility Expo where Mike launched this initiative back in September, his passion for certification and its potential impact on damage …

AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL EGAN

Bunting Labs, a San Francisco-based startup co-founded by Michael Egan and Brendan Ashworth, is on a mission to accelerate map digitization using AI. The fusion of mapping, digitization, and AI intrigued me, prompting a conversation with Michael to delve into their technology and explore potential applications in the realm of damage prevention.   Here’s how it went: A CHAT WITH …

DIGITAL TWINS ARE THE FUTURE

Digital Twins are a game-changer for infrastructure management and protection. In this article I’m going to outline what exactly a digital twin is, the motivation for adopting them and the momentum which is pushing us in this direction. Let’s start with a definition: “A real time, virtual representation of the real world” – Josie West 🔗 The concept of a …

10 X 25 = REDUCING DAMAGES

A few years ago Geoff Zeiss and Dr. Sakura Shinoaki wrote a white paper called Reducing Damage to Underground Utility Infrastructure during Excavation. In it they outlined ten main topics and concluded with 25 recommendations 25!! This was a hefty piece of research and expertise rolled into one, that sought to challenge the status quo in damage prevention and draw …

PRE-PLAN FOR SUCCESS

Utility locating is one of the most pivotal elements in ensuring safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in project execution. There are several key considerations which are often overlooked during project pre-planning that I think would help improve project timeliness and ultimately reduce damages. Unveiling the nuances of 811 and private utility locators unveils critical insights pivotal for a secure and robust …

REFLECTING ON 2023

Here are some of the biggest stories which impacted the industry from the last year… JANUARY Mark Brennan shared his decision to exit the utility locating industry after two decades of service. Working in a large city in upstate New York, he specialized in locating various utilities, including water, sewer, drainage, and electrical lines. In his insightful account, Mark highlighted …

DETECTIVE WORK IN DAMAGE PREVENTION

I was speaking to the owner of a small locate firm recently and he told me that he almost exclusively hires former police detectives. Hopefully I’m not unveiling his big secret to the world but he seemed pretty enthusiastic about how detail and goal oriented they could be. In the world of damage prevention and utility locating, the unexpected connection …