Take a moment to consider the services that feed your household. The water supply, electricity, gas supply, phonelines and waste services are just a small section of the underground networks that serve Australian households, business, transport networks, communication networks and other large-scale infrastructures.
Often these services are situated just below the ground on which we walk, drive and play. They span along most paths, roads, highways and motorways, no matter where you are in the world. Should they become damaged, the there is the potential to stop that network from supplying whatever it is delivering, and in doing so potentially cause widespread disruption.
In recent years there have been a few high-profile incidents where contractors working on motorway projects have accidentally severed the trunk cables of Australia-wide mobile phone network providers. In each case those incidents caused entire network regions to be unavailable, which whilst it may be just and inconvenience for some, it could be hugely problematic for others. You only need to consider the reliance that emergency services place on phone contact for live reporting on a situation to realise the potential consequences.
Additionally, as a contractor, the last thing you want to be responsible for is the disruption to a major network because of a lack of planning or research. Worse still, you really do not want to be responsible for the injury to or death of an employee who accidentally severed an electricity line with some excavation machinery.
Dial Before You Dig Australia is a referral service provided by the Australian Government. This free information service has dual purpose; as well as safeguarding the massive countrywide network infrastructures, it also provides safety and reassurance for anyone looking to excavate earth for a specific project.
Dial Before You Dig, or DBYD Australia as it’s more colloquially known, a single point of contact between excavation companies and infrastructure owners, the program is simply a means of informing those who require it, where the underground infrastructure is located in relation to a project, both to safeguard the infrastructure and to help keep anyone who is involved with the project safe from harm. This could for example be a commercial developer with large scale construction plans, the owner of a farm holding small developer looking to subdivide their land, or even a plumbing company installing a drainage pipe to the kerbside.
If you don’t know what’s beneath your feet and you need to know, contacting the Dial Before you Dig service is free. A simple enquiry essentially puts you in touch with the owners of any infrastructure in the locality, and they will respond with plans and information about what is there.
There is of course reassurance to using the service, and being free, it is wise to do so. Businesses and individuals who inadvertently damage underground assets are often liable for their repair, which can become hugely expensive. Therefore, a quick enquiry to Dial Before You Dig can help avoid making a costly and potentially dangerous error of judgement.