Classification of Subsurface Utility Information ‘AS5488’

Ian Lambert (Managing Director Lambert Locations) introducing AS5488 with Standards Australia in 2013

On 12 June 2013, Standards Australia launched a new Australian Standard which will – for the first time – outline a consistent approach towards the classification of information relating to subsurface utilites. Ian Lambert (President of NULCA) gave a speech on the pratical application of AS5488 and Mark Gordon (Chair IT-036) gave a short outline to the new standard.

Prior to AS5488 the existence and location of subsurface utilites were difficult to establish and verify. The new standard 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.

AS5488-2013 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
  • National Utility Locating Contractors Association (NULCA)
  • Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute
  • Dial Before You Dig
  • Telstra Corporation
  • Water Services Association of Australia
  • Australasian Railway Association
  • Australian Institute of Mine Surveyors
  • Australian Local Government Association
  • Australian Services Union
  • Austroads
  • Energy Networks Association
  • Engineers Australia
  • Geospatial Information and Technology Association
  • Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities
  • Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia
  • National Broadband Network
  • NSW Streets Opening Conference
  • University of New South Wales
  • WorkCover New South Wales

The scope of the document is considerable. It covers not only buried assets but also submerged assets and geographically covers Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which means it would apply to submarine communications and power cables and offshore oil and gas pipelines.
It contains an extensive list of asset types and a suggested colour code for how different types of asset should be identified. The standard sets out about 150 two and three letter alphanumeric codes designed to cover a comprehensive range of different types of subsurface infrastructure.

Other Qualifications & Certifications

  • Fully Telstra accredited Locators
  • DBYD Certified Locators
  • QLD and NSW OHS site induction certificates
  • Complete QLD and NSW insurance covers
  • Licensed plumbers/drainers
  • Backflow prevention certified – BFP 94-194
  • QBSA Licensed – 45226
  • Gas fitter licensed
  • Restricted Electrical Licensed
  • Confined space certified
  • Gas detector operators
  • WHSO(Qld) on staff
  • Quality Management AS9001:2008 (third-party certified)

Lambert Locations are proud to be part of NULCA, (National Utilities Locating Contractors Association) this association is there to provide better working standards, better training and better protection for our utility operators and underground asset owners. If you are in any way associated with the protection and location of assets you should become a member of NULCA.

All work undertaken by Lambert Locations meets Australian Standard ‘Classification of Subsurface Utility Information AS5488′