Why we need National 811 Day


It’s an endlessly repeated statistic, but needs to be said and said again until it ceases to be true: Every six minutes in the US an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.

ALAs let you dig without having to dial


The June 2017 edition of American Locator magazine carried a lengthy interview with PelicanCorp CEO Duane Rodgers in which he drew attention to a scheme in Canada under which contractors can gain permission from a utility to commence work without waiting for information on any buried infrastructure, if they employ digging practices considered safe.

PelicanCorp teams up with Australia’s peak contractor body to help protect vital infrastructure


PelicanCorp has formed a strategic alliance with Australia’s Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) under which they will strive jointly to promote best practice in infrastructure construction through communication and by seeking to influence policy and management practices for civil construction.

PelicanCorp CEO Duane Rodgers in print


American Locator is a magazine dedicated to the protection of underground infrastructure. It “gets to the heart of recent news, updates, technology and processes focusing on damage prevention in the underground utility industry”. Heading up the June 2017 issue was a lengthy interview with PelicanCorp CEO, Duane Rodgers. Here’s a summary of what Duane had to say.

Driving home the safe digging message on video


There’s a new video – Don’t know, don’t dig — on the dangers of digging without being absolutely certain you know what’s under the ground. It’s a joint production by SafeWork NSW, Dial Before You Dig, Endeavour Energy, Ausgrid and Essential Energy. So its focus is on the dangers, and the consequences of damaging electricity cables.

Augmented reality already a reality for utilities

PEL720 Augmented reality already a reality for utilities

In February 2017 the Economist magazine ran an article entitled The promise of augmented reality, saying:

“If companies ranging from giants like Microsoft and Google to newcomers like Magic Leap and Meta have their way, the next thing to leap from fiction to fact will be augmented reality (AR).”

April is National Safe Digging Month

PEL723 April is National Safe Digging Month

The US has a very vibrant community dedicated to protecting underground infrastructure from excavation damage and the highlight of its awareness raising activities in National Safe Digging Month, held each year in April, when the Call 811 organisations in each state — the equivalent of Australia’s Dial Before You Dig bodies — get together with sponsorship from infrastructure owning organisations and others to stage a wide range of community events across the country.

NULCA to stage first conference

pel712 nulca to stage first conference

The National Utility Locating Contractors Association of Australia (NULCA) is planning its inaugural Australasian damage prevention conference under the theme 'Protection of Underground Utilities'.

Joint Australia NZ research project to improve GPS accuracy

PEL710 Joint Australia NZ research project to improve GPS accuracy

Position fixing could become much more precise than the several metres accuracy provided by the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites if a two year trial of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) being undertaken with the backing of the Australian and New Zealand Governments proves successful.

Australian body’s ambitious digital earth plans

Pel709 Australian bodys ambitious digital earth plans

In 1998 Al Gore, then US vice president, described his vision for a digital earth, a 3D virtual representation of the earth that would provide access to vast amounts of information to help people understand the earth and its natural and human phenomena.

Oroville Dam, a disaster waiting to happen?

PEL708a Oroville Dam a disaster waiting to happen

With a height of 234.7 metres California’s Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the US and the body of water it holds back, Lake Oroville is the second largest man-made lake in California. It serves three functions: water supply, hydroelectricity generation and flood control. It’s estimated that the floods it prevented between 1987 and 1999 avoid a damage bill that would have topped $US1.3 billion.

Sydney to host global spatial conference

PEL705 Sydney to host global spatial conference

In April, Sydney will host what the organisers claim will be “one of the biggest spatial events in history” when the Locate Conference and the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE) Symposium join forces for a joint event being held 3-6 April 2017at the new International Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The poetry of dangerous digging

PEL704 The poetry of dangerous digging

It’s been a while – three years in fact - since we looked at Digging Dangers – the annual video produced in the US to highlight the often spectacularly disastrous consequences of excavating without full information on all buried infrastructure.