Standards Australia has launched a new Australian Standard which will – for the first time – outline a consistent approach towards the classification of information relating to subsurface utilities.

At present the existence and location of subsurface utilities can be difficult to establish and verify, which is the problem this standard seeks to address.

AS 5488-2013 Classification of Subsurface Utility Information is intended to improve public safety, reduce costly property damage, and provide more accurate information on the location and type of subsurface utilities than in the past.

Chief Executive Officer of Standards Australia, Colin Blair, said Australian utility owners, operators and locators have welcomed the Australian Standard which sets a new benchmark for subsurface utility information management.

“The primary objective of this Australian Standard is to provide utility owners, operators and locators with a framework for the consistent classification of information concerning subsurface utilities,” Mr Blair said.

“The standard also provides guidance on how subsurface utility information may be obtained, and how that information should be conveyed to users,” Mr Blair said.

Mr Blair said knowledge of the precise details of subsurface utilities can protect the asset lifecycle and reduce interference to infrastructure.

AS 5488-2013 Subsurface Utility Information was prepared by the Standards Australia Committee IT-036, Subsurface Utility Engineering. The following groups are represented on the committee.

• ANZLIC—The Spatial Information Council
• Australasian Railway Association
• Australian Institute of Mine Surveyors
• Australian Local Government Association
• Australian Services Union
• Austroads
• Dial Before You Dig
• Energy Networks Association
• Engineers Australia
• Geospatial Information and Technology Association
• Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities
• Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia
• National Broadband Network
• National Utility Locating Contractors Association
• NSW Streets Opening Conference
• Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute
• Telstra Corporation
• University of New South Wales
• Water Services Association of Australia
• WorkCover New South Wales 

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