Industry Conference Seeks to Promote Safety in the Avoidance of Utility Strikes

For immediate release - Thursday 24 September 2015

The Utility Strike Avoidance Group (USAG) has held its first ever conference and exhibition at Heathrow Airport. Energy Networks Association helped organise and chair the event, which brought together utility companies and key stakeholders, including Government and academia, to work together to improve health and safety performance in the avoidance of utility strikes.

Damage to underground infrastructure during digging work is a safety risk to workers and members of the public, as well as resulting in significant financial loss and disruption to vital services. The USAG is a collaborative group of over 150 utilities asset owners, industry groups and contractors that seek to ensure the highest standard of safety when work is being undertaken on the vital utilities infrastructure which serves homes and businesses.

The first USAG Conference focussed on how to raise awareness of the risks of utility strikes, learning the lessons from company case studies, including Scottish Power, and managing behaviour to drive change throughout companies and their workforce. Delegates were also invited to join a number of new Working Groups which have been set up to take this initiative forward.

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association said, "Utility strikes damage infrastructure and disrupt vital services, but more importantly they can risk the safety of workers and members of the public.

This conference demonstrates the importance that our industry places on its commitment to health and safety, and the shared experiences and lessons learned today will focus minds on how to drive down and avoid utility strikes."

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Notes to Editors

ENA is the voice of the networks representing the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.

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Matthew Pringle Press and Public Affairs Officer T: +44 (0) 20 7706 5118 M: +44 (0) 7792 220974