Service strike video from Dyer and Butler illustrates risks industry’s workforce faces every

A road operative has told his story of his brush with death after service strike.

On the 20th May 2020 a number of Dyer and Butler operatives were tasked with hand excavating trial holes. During the operation, the team were using insulated tools, something which probably saved the life of one of the crew Kevin Wallcroft as he struck a 11kv underground service.

In his own frank and honest way, the video tells Kevin’s story from a first person perspective with startling honesty around the events of the day.

The video, which can be played above, also comes at a time when the sector has seen a rise in strikes, including seven over just a two week period on the strategic network alone and just weeks after fellow contractor A-one+ released their own video with the aim of highlighting issues around service strikes.

As the microscope becomes increasingly trained upon the risks the industry’s workforce face on a daily basis as a result of striking buried services, Dyer and Butler have become the latest organisation to release an awareness video based upon the personal experiences of one of their own operatives.

Speaking about the challenges we face as an industry, Safer Highways CEO, Kevin Robinson said: “Service strikes have long been one of the biggest risks to our people.

“We know there is a massive risk with the excavation of any trenches and holes due to a distinct lack of information and poor drawings and yet the issue has become something of a Groundhog Day – where we seem to go around in ever decreasing circles and never find a solution to the issue.

“Truth be told, in many instances we are still using the same methods to detect buried services as we were 30 years ago. As the old adage goes ‘if you do what you have you have always done, then you get what you always got’. There needs to be a change, not in a policy or procedure but in the whole thought process around how we excavate on both the high and low speed networks.

“As a sector both Highways and Utilities must lead the way in finding a solution to this issue and making sure that we offer our people the highest possible protection.”

A version of this article was first published at: www.saferhighways.co.uk

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