Civil engineering contractor Dyer & Butler has trialled a remote-control breaker while excavating around an unidentified cable discovered at Heathrow Airport.
A section of uncharted pot-ended cable joint was discovered by a Dyer & Butler maintenance team, which was investigating the cause of a potable water leak in the central terminal area.
Breaking up the surrounding layers of asphalt and concrete to further expose and identify the potentially ‘live’ cable posed a significant safety risk: the central terminal area is full of identified buried services including “high temperature hot water” pipes, electrical feeds to structures, street furniture and traffic loops.
Heathrow Airport and Dyer & Butler’s aviation management and SHEQ teams decided using the ‘Demobot’, designed for unstable, confined and hazardous areas, would be the safest and most efficient way to proceed. Dyer & Butler’s team were able to manoeuvre the Demobot from a safe distance onto the site and excavate more of the area around the cable.
Once the cable was further exposed, it was traced back to the service pit and confirmed as redundant and so safe for removal.
Dyer & Butler SHEQ manager Geoff Fox said: “The health, safety and well being of our people is our core value and we continually challenge ourselves to find new and safer ways of working.
“The Demobot placed safety innovation at the forefront of this task, enabling the project team to uncover the uncharted cable from a safe distance.”