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Western Power has won a prestigious national award for innovative new technology that has been developed for the Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) community safety service.

The Geospatial Information and Technology Association presented Western Power with the 2014 GITA Industry Excellence Award for the Asset Information Request System (AIRS) that supports Dial Before You Dig.

AIRS is a fully automated system that has revolutionised how the community can access the locations of electricity network infrastructure such as power poles and power lines through the Dial Before You Dig service.

Western Power’s Chief Operating Officer, Dave Fyfe, said the technology was greatly benefiting customers particularly with a significant reduction in response times from an average of two days to within 90 seconds for 85 per cent of enquires.

“The number of our customers using Dial Before You Dig has increased by about 20 percent each year, with over 20,000 a month now seeking information through the service,” he said.

“Near immediate access to the location of Western Power’s underground and overhead electrical equipment improves public safety by reducing the risk of workers impacting the network when excavating or operating machinery.”

Mr Fyfe said Western Power was also using the technology to digitally map and archive enquiries so that information could be retrieved more efficiently for reporting, analysis, and investigation.

“The spatial archive provides long term benefits for our customers and community safety planning by providing a picture of where work is being completed near Western Power assets,” he said.

Dial Before You Dig 1100 is a referral service for information on locating utility infrastructure across Australia. Western Power along with other Western Australian utilities including Water Corp, Telstra, and ATCO Gas provide DBYD responses.

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