Ben Whitfield, Service Locator at Locate Scan and Survey in NSW, has recently achieved a significant milestone in his career by becoming a Certified Locator.

With over three years locating experience in Sydney and the UK, Ben brings a variety of expertise to his role in underground service location.  For Ben, obtaining certification is a testament to his hard work and dedication.

“It means a lot to me,” Ben explains. “Hard work pays off, and now getting recognised for it through the certification opens a lot more doors for me.” 

Highlighting city centres as one of the most daunting aspects of locating work, Ben mentions the complexity of numerous services, public traffic, and bustling environments as factors to these challenging locating sites. Because of these challenges, successfully completing projects in these types of areas, gives a sense of accomplishment and a recognition of your learned skills.  

 One part Ben enjoys most about being a locator is the thrill of the unknown.

“With not being able to physically see the services, it’s almost like ‘The Unknown,’” Ben shares. “Being able to successfully map out all aspects of underground services gives great satisfaction.” 

 Throughout his career, Ben has encountered some interesting locations, from the various regions in New South Wales to the capital, Canberra, each place holds its own unique charm and challenges, contributing to Ben’s professional growth. 

When it comes to safety in locating work, Ben stresses its importance. “Safety is crucial on any working site, you are responsible for the safety of others and yourself when locating underground services,” Ben affirms, underlining that it extends beyond equipment usage to fostering a secure environment for all individuals participating in the process. 

For aspiring locators interested in becoming certified, Ben offers valuable advice:

“Take your time to learn the trade and all the stages that go with it, it’s not a job where you can cut corners. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.” 

 We congratulate Ben on his achievement and wish him continued success as a Certified Locator.  

 

Connect with Locate Scan & Survey 

Find out more about becoming a Certified Locator here.  

To contact a Certified Locator for your next project search here.  

Meet Riley Brown, a newly Certified Locator from the Wollongong area of NSW. With 18 months of hands-on experience with A1 Locate Services Pty Ltd Riley offers insights into the significance of achieving certification and his passion for the role of underground services locator. 

For Riley, becoming certified as a locator is a big achievement and boosts his confidence in the industry.  

It is more than just career progression for him, it represents a personal milestone, having proven his skills and competency.  

The path to certification for Riley wasn’t without its hurdles.  Riley openly shares that the theoretical aspects of the certification process posed a unique challenge due to his Dyslexia. However, his determination to succeed and the support around him helped him to achieve his goal.  

Riley’s favourite aspect of the job is the difference that each site presents: “Every location or site is different, which is part of the challenge. Locating and marking utilities to expose what was previously just a blank canvas with potential hidden dangers is an exciting process. Finding those underground services that the client wasn’t aware of and minimising the risk of damage to utilities is one of my favourite parts of being a locator.” 

A self-confessed outdoors guy, some of his most memorable work locations would have to be the National Parks in NSW. The dense bushland and rugged terrain make locating extra interesting in these areas, with the native flora and fauna adding an additional layer of complexity to his locating work.  

Safety is paramount when working around utilities. Ensuring a secure and safer worksite environment is fundamental and in Riley’s world, it’s a crucial aspect of the locating process, especially on complex worksites. 

For those looking to get certified, he offers a simple yet invaluable piece of advice “do not rush the process.” He emphasises the significance of gaining practical experience prior to attempting the assessment.  

 

Connect with A1 Locate Services Pty Ltd 

Find out more about becoming a Certified Locator here. 

To contact a Certified Locator for your next project search here. 

Charlie Euston, having spent the last year as a Service Locator at DWB Service Locating in Victoria, decided that obtaining certification was the only way to ensure that he was recognised in the locating industry.  

Getting certified was a validation of my learning, skills and also a key step in my career progression. It signifies my dedication to upholding the industry’s stringent standards and DBYD Certification’s rigorous assessments,” Charlie affirmed. 

 Reflecting on the certification process, Charlie acknowledged facing two significant challenges. Overcoming test anxiety was crucial, necessitating practice until procedures became second nature. Slowing down during the practical assessment and approaching it methodically boosted confidence, allowing a comprehensive display of acquired skills and knowledge. 

“Learning to distinguish Telstra cables posed a notable hurdle. Once I referred to a Telstra cable guide online, decoding acronyms that I were confused by, became clear, resolving any ongoing issues,” Charlie recounted.

Expressing passion for the role, Charlie highlighted the appeal of service locating was that it matches his curious nature. He shared how eager he is in learning how things work – from how the locating equipment works through to how the various utility systems work. 

Having the confidence in advising a client on where the underground services are located, by marking them correctly, is a critical component to mitigate risk before ground-disturbing.

Charlie recounts an incident at a new estate that exposed one client’s disregard for marked services: “I had a job locating all the services in the nature strips of a new estate so they could maintain a safe 1.5 m from services when planting trees. When I arrived on day 2 of the job, the mini excavator was already at work digging holes for the trees, directly over the power and gas lines I had already marked, occasionally ripping up the marker take for the LV. After speaking with the site manager, it became apparent that they were planting trees according to ‘the plan’ regardless of the actual position of services. I had marked the service clearly, provided relevant info on clearances required for services and made sure I kept notes on all of it. It was a lesson for me that as a locator I can do the locations and provide information, but ultimately, it is up to the client to use that information and determine the next steps. This was a great reminder to take photos and notes and to get the job sheet signed off to CYA“ 

For those aspiring to enter the field of service locating, Charlie offers practical advice. “Get comfortable reading complex Telstra plans, practice the locate process until it becomes habit, and look for opportunities to locate less-common services,” he suggests.

“I would go for a walk to grab a coffee and I would look for all the pits, valves and connection points. Then I would go over in my head the method of connection I would use, doing a 360 sweep, how I would trouble shoot a poor signal.” Creating these repeatable processes allowed Charlie to become the confident locator he is today. 

Proactive learning, a curiosity for problem solving and a solid process will help you on your path to becoming Certified.  

 

 

Connect with DWB Engineering on LinkedIn  

Find out more about becoming a Certified Locator here. 

To contact a Certified Locator for your next project search here. 

 

After five career changes that started as a solicitor and ended with being a school teacher, Aidan Waszaj, South East Scanning, finally decided to ditch the whole nine-to-five routine and become a utility locator.

“Becoming a locator meant doing something very different that’s far more interesting and engaging. It meant no more nine-to-five days. Instead, now I get to drive all over Queensland, visit interesting locating sites, specialise in a very interesting field, and work with a range of great clients,” said Aidan.

It’s also a job that can take him across the border – A LOT!

“That’s right. One day I crossed the border between NSW and QLD about 20 times. That’s because I was doing a locate at the Captain Cook Monument in Tweed Heads – which sits on the state border,” said Aidan.

Hopefully that job didn’t happen during daylight savings – could have been a very long day too!

Aidan says one of the highlights of locating is the freedom to work outdoors. Although that also has its moments.

“One day I was inside a Telstra footway access chamber, and I uncovered a large nest of huntsman spiders. I wasn’t happy to see them, and they certainly weren’t too happy to see me,” recalls Aidan.

While an uncomfortable experience, Aidan says for him feeling safe in a work environment is about following best practice and taking the necessary steps to minimise risk.

“As a small business owner, doing all we can to make our worksites safe also means workers are happy, productivity is boosted, and harm is averted,” said Aidan.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_7547-conv-225x300.jpegStarting up his own business on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast was one of the reasons Aidan looked to become a Certified Locator sooner.

“Getting certified meant I can build my own business on my own terms – with support from other experienced locators in Queensland and across the country as well as the team at DBYD Certification,” said Aidan.

For Aidan the most challenging part of the certification process was ensuring he could meet the demands of the practical assessment – combining a sound understanding of locating theory with practical knowledge – and understanding how to problem-solve to achieve a particular outcome.

With his business now up and running, Aidan advises anyone looking to get into locating, or get certified, to get as much experience as possible.

“Find an experienced locator and learn from them. Ask as many questions as you can, take notes, and learn to problem solve. Learn to change your approach to achieve the highest quality locate. Watch for the little tricks and techniques that experienced locators employ.

“For example, attach a string or line to your magnet for a direct connect if it is out of reach, or down a valve pit, rather than simply clipping on with your alligator clips. It makes it a lot easier to pull it out or recover it when you have finished locating. Since using this little trick, I haven’t needed to buy a new magnet,” shares Aidan.

Congratulations Aidan on becoming a Certified Locator. With as little as 860 Certified Locators across Australia, you’re now part of a unique group recognised for applying a high-level of locating skills and knowledge to help protect Australia’s utility network from damage and contribute to a safer workplace.

Find out more about becoming a Certified Locator here.

To contact a Certified Locator for your next project search here.

Connect with Aidan on LinkedIn.

Connect with South East Scanning on LinkedIn.

After five career changes that started as a solicitor and ended with being a school teacher, Aidan Waszaj, South East Scanning, finally decided to ditch the whole nine-to-five routine and become a utility locator.

“Becoming a locator meant doing something very different that’s far more interesting and engaging. It meant no more nine-to-five days. Instead, now I get to drive all over Queensland, visit interesting locating sites, specialise in a very interesting field, and work with a range of great clients,” said Aidan.

It’s also a job that can take him across the border – A LOT!

“That’s right. One day I crossed the border between NSW and QLD about 20 times. That’s because I was doing a locate at the Captain Cook Monument in Tweed Heads – which sits on the state border,” said Aidan.

Hopefully that job didn’t happen during daylight savings – could have been a very long day too!

Aidan says one of the highlights of locating is the freedom to work outdoors. Although that also has its moments.

“One day I was opening a Telstra footway access chamber, and I uncovered a large nest of huntsman spiders. I wasn’t happy to see them, and they certainly weren’t too happy to see me,” recalls Aidan.

While an uncomfortable experience, Aidan says for him feeling safe in a work environment is about following best practice and taking the necessary steps to minimise risk.

“As a small business owner, doing all we can to make our worksites safe also means workers are happy, productivity is boosted, and harm is averted,” said Aidan.

Aidan Waszaj, South East Scanning, QLD

Starting up his own business on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast was one of the reasons Aidan looked to become a Certified Locator sooner.

“Getting certified meant I can build my own business on my own terms – with support from other experienced locators in Queensland and across the country as well as the team at DBYD Certification,” said Aidan.

For Aidan the most challenging part of the certification process was ensuring he could meet the demands of the practical assessment – combining a sound understanding of locating theory with practical knowledge – and understanding how to problem-solve to achieve a particular outcome.

With his business now up and running, Aidan advises anyone looking to get into locating, or get certified, to get as much experience as possible.

“Find an experienced locator and learn from them. Ask as many questions as you can, take notes, and learn to problem solve. Learn to change your approach to achieve the highest quality locate. Watch for the little tricks and techniques that experienced locators employ.

“For example, attach a string or line to your magnet for a direct connect if it is out of reach, or down a valve pit, rather than simply clipping on with your alligator clips. It makes it a lot easier to pull it out or recover it when you have finished locating. Since using this little trick, I haven’t needed to buy a new magnet,” shares Aidan.

Congratulations Aidan on becoming a Certified Locator. With as little as 860 Certified Locators across Australia, you’re now part of a unique group recognised for applying a high-level of locating skills and knowledge to help protect Australia’s utility network from damage and contribute to a safer workplace.

Find out more about becoming a Certified Locator here.

To contact a Certified Locator for your next project search here.

Connect with Aidan on LinkedIn.

Connect with South East Scanning on LinkedIn.

A lot can change in a year, and it certainly has for Gabrielle Johnson. A year ago we profiled Gabby as one of the eight female Certified Locators in Australia. This year we’re excited to share Gabby has been appointed as the first female locator assessor for the Certified Locator program! An achievement she is both very proud and excited about.

While this role marks a change in direction, Gabby says it’s a natural progression as it compliments not only her seven years of experience as a utility locator but also as an industry trainer.

“I have always enjoyed helping others learn new skills and watching them grow. So, when I was offered the opportunity with DBYD Certification, I jumped at it.

“Moving into assessing for the Certified Locator program has been in my sights for a while. I’m proud to join the DCL team – and to be the first female assessor is a bonus,” said Gabby.

Contributing and helping make a workplace as safe as possible and supporting others are some of the priorities that drive Gabby.

“Taking on this role means I can be part of the process for maintaining the highest standards in the locating industry and contribute to workplace safety.

“In addition, it’s exciting to see a candidate’s hard work and training pay off – and then to welcome them as a Certified Locator will be very satisfying,” said Gabby.

Circling back to being Australia’s first female assessor for the Certified Locator Program, we asked Gabby if the title meant anything to her.

“I am hopeful I can be a role model for other females and encourage them to follow the pathway to becoming a locator.

“Locating really is a highly rewarding career. Fundamentally, it contributes to safer outcomes in the construction industry, which sits high on the list of job satisfaction for me.

“If this is something you’re passionate about and you have a keen eye for detail, then this industry needs you. My advice is to work with a reputable and supportive locating company and start learning about the network mysteries that lie beneath!” shares Gabby.

Congratulations Gabby on your appointment – and welcome to the team. We hope you, together with all the female Certified Locators, continue to be inspirational pioneers for the industry and anyone looking for a career that takes them to interesting places, offers great challenges, and where no two days are the same.