Laying and replacing gas pipes poses a number of safety risks. High among these is the danger posed by welded jointing, and a lack of clarity over where the joint was and whether it had been fitted properly in the first place. See the examples below for how the site addressed this:
- The company sought to develop a system to be used across their sites which would record and provide data for new polyethylene electro fusion joints made on the network.
- The result was the Control Point Joint Management system.
- The system operates through a smartphone application, linking the phone to the new jointing box via bluetooth.
- The operative placing the joint logs their details onto the joint box and takes a series of pictures before the installation is allowed to take place, thus ensuring accountability and quality.
- The pictures logged by the operative must satisfy the company requirements, and the data is sent for third party validation.
- The site manager is immediately notified if a particular joint is deemed non-conforming and a safety risk, and the joint is not installed.
- The data is all collated into monthly reports to track the progress of individual joints and monitor operatives’ performance.
- Each joint has its own ID code and its GPS location, the operative who installed it and its installation history are all recorded, so any issues can be quickly identified and rectified.
This system ensures the integrity of the gas distribution network and provides a uniform installation process. This improves quality and alleviates the risk of poorly installed joints, which would pose a safety hazard and cause disruption.
Monitor report. Northern Gas Networks. North Yorkshire. April 2017.