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Letter from the Editor: Safety in the trenches

A utilies construction safety sign
In addition to being incredibly dangerous, the damage caused by buried utility strikes is a multi-billion-dollar problem worldwide. Adobe Stock Images

Work in and around trenches is dangerous – the trench can cave in or collapse, workers can fall into the trench, equipment and workers can come in contact with buried service lines, and ground workers risk being hit by heavy machinery.

Protecting the trench and maintaining clear job site communication are vital to keeping everyone safe. But trenching and work around buried utilities is an application where the latest technology can deliver huge safety benefits for everyone on the job site, in addition to significant cost savings. 

Following trench protection procedures, such as using a trench box, shoring, benching, or sloping all reduce the risk to workers – but eliminating the need for workers to go into the trench at all is better. A game-changing technology solution that can keep workers safe in trenching operations is grade control, which eliminates the need for workers to measure depth in the trench during excavation operations and prevents rework.

In addition to being incredibly dangerous, the damage caused by buried utility strikes is a multi-billion-dollar problem worldwide – and new technology can help eliminate gas leaks, electrical hazards, water damage, and more.

In this issue, we explore cutting edge technology from RodRadar. The company has designed a solution that integrates utility detection technology into buckets for excavators. The operator can scan the ground using the bucket while seated in the cab and can see buried infrastructure on a touchscreen – eliminating the need for complicated interpretation of scanning data. This real-time scanning solution can save time, lives, and money. The operator always knows where underground infrastructure is buried while completing the job.

At September's Utility Expo, look for the latest advancements in safety technology for trenching operations and underground utility detection and construction. The Utility Expo is unique in its focus on giving attendees a hands-on opportunity to get familiar with the latest equipment and technology.

Following required safety procedures and ensuring proper job site communication between all workers is essential in trench work – but here the latest technology is a real boon to safety. If you're attending The Utility Expo, we hope you have a great show and get the opportunity to experience some of this technology firsthand. If not, check out upcoming issues, and visit heavyequipmentguide.ca, for Utility Expo news and product introductions.

Read the September 2023 digital edition, and learn more about RodRadar's Live Dig Radar.

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