Reducing Damage to Underground Utility Infrastructure during Excavation: Costs, benefits, technical advances, case studies, and recommendations
- Apr 16, 2020 7:49 pm GMT
Summary of a white paper prepared for the Geospatial Information & Technology Association by Geoff Zeiss and Dr. Sakura Shinoaki
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. For comparison over the past 20 years in the U.S., there have been about the same number of fatalities (403) resulting from major commercial airline crashes (excluding 9/11). In addition inaccurate and missing information about underground infrastructure increases the risk of construction project schedule and budget overruns. 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.
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