Thousands of utility strikes occur annually in the UK, presenting an ever-present and significant risk to human life. Electrocutions and explosions are a real possibility and the issue is just as costly and disruptive as it is dangerous.
Across the UK there are over 12,000 works underway each day, in 2019 a Utility Strike Avoidance Group (USAG) report stated that over 2,500 utility strikes took place. To reduce the risk of these strikes Kobus has created a revolutionary technique for water and gas pipe replacements.
There is an inherent risk with all pipes and cables whether they exist for gas, electricity, cable TV, or water supplies. With individual property lines also in the mix, and a reliance on often inaccurate historical maps, detailed examinations of the underground situation are vital to reduce strikes.
Yet, they still happen, and they happen at a growing rate. Between 2013 and 2017 the rate of strikes rose by 668% and a 2020 Q3 report highlighted a 43% increase on Q2.
Surveys from the Energy Networks Association show that 93% of workers believe they are operating safely but a USAG report shows the majority of strikes are the result of excavating machinery and hand-tools.
The Kobus Pipe Puller brings added mobility and efficiency to replacement projects. Removing old pipes from the ground to help with environmental targets, and adding an additional layer of safety to workers on the ground.
Trenchless technology is an already established technique in the utility infrastructure world. Using just two small excavations disruption to the community is minimised, roads need not be closed, and locals are free to carry on with their lives while changes are made.
Utility strikes are an avoidable hard in the industry. Pre-operations mapping of existing piping is an initial step to reducing risk, and a move away from moling, towards trenchless technology will help consign strikes to a thing of the past.