Malcolm Hughes (MHLS) welcomes the latest report from the Utility Strike Avoidance Group (USAG)

This report mentions many of the issues regarding underground utilities that MHLS Director John Robinson and several industry associations have been highlighting for several years.

In particular the report recommends;

  • More accurate plans and more robust location and survey practices
  • Ensuring all utility record plans available are present on site
  • Undertaking high quality PAS128 level surveys to locate assets, including the use of appropriate locators through the pre-construction phase.
  • Designing out the risk, where possible

The cost of encountering a utility strike is high. Ultimately the Health & Safety element and human factor is paramount, but the financial costs are also punitive

  • Based on a report recently undertaken entitled “What do Utility Strikes Really Cost?”, for 16 case studies in an urban area, it was shown that for every £1 spend on the direct cost, £29 is spent on the indirect and social costs.
  • Based on the above estimated direct costs from previous reports, this results in the average true cost of each utility strike of over £100,000!

The full report can be viewed here

In conclusion; We believe that safety, planning/designing and a risk management approach to knowing what is underground starts with a consultative approach with an industry expert.

MHLS provide all elements of PAS128 survey services and offer educational talks/CPDs on best practice in underground utility surveys.

Malcolm Hughes Director, John Robinson can be contacted regarding any element of underground utility, GPR or feature surveys at