Third party damage (TPD) of utility assets in Transport Corridors – Near misses vs actual and how do we identify repeat offenders? Rene DÁth, First Gas


Third party damage of utility assets is, “not can be”, a major cost to asset owners across all utility sectors. Not to mention the safety risks these damages impose. And these costs can be much higher than the pure cost of rectifying the damage.
Post incident actions including awareness or education presentations, technical training, cost recovery for remedial works or even penalties and fines provide some means to highlight issues to offenders but are all reactive. Proactive activities to reduce overall TPD incidents are difficult to identify, implement and effect.
Collecting data of damages, and the ability to share this data with other asset owners can be very useful in identifying repeat offenders and undertaking joint education. Near misses are more difficult to identify and/or share amongst industry participants but invaluable to really identify repeat offenders.
NZUAG data collection as required to comply with the code is a very useful tool for utilities across industry areas that don’t typically collaborate, to benchmark data sets and possibly, introduce parties where synergies could be beneficial.
This presentation hopes to generate discussion amongst these utility owners and tease out possible areas where collaboration may be advantageous to identify proactive activities to reduce third party damage.

René has been working in the gas industry for over 30 years. The last four years this has involved managing the First Gas Distribution networks which include some 4500kms of pipelines the majority of which are polyethylene. Prior to the current role, René has worked as a corrosion technician/technologist, various technical services management positions, HR, and consulting both in New Zealand and Australia. He currently sits on the Gas Association of New Zealand Board and the NZUAG Board and chairs the Technical and Training committees for GANZ and the Compliance Committee for NZUAG.
Rene provides a leading role for the NZ Gas Industry in working to reduce third party damage and a number of technical and training fronts to enhance operations and safety across the industry.