Check where you are digging/cutting

untitled (31)The idea that digging a few holes in a piece of land to erect a fence could lead to thousands of homes and businesses and hundreds of thousands of people becoming disconnected from their phones, TV and internet sounds like an episode from the Simpsons. However the loss of TV to large parts of East Sussex yesterday came as a result of one person or one company that dug seven holes and cut through the Openreach fibre optic cable in seven places. The damage to the cable has been repaired but the stories of the impact to the residents and businesses, let alone their inconvenience over that time may not emerge for weeks. The business I work for faces similar challenges every time we lay cables to create hearing loops. Many of the buildings that contain hearing loops (the full name is Audio Frequency Induction Loop Systems or AFILS) have had the loop laid under the flooring. The challenge is that many carpet layers and flooring contractors don’t appreciate that when they cut through the carpet as they lay it in sections, that they risk destroying the opportunity for deaf people in the building concerned to hearing what is being communicated. In one Church in Surrey the hearing loop was cut in 30 places by a carpet layer. In another building in Chiddingstone Causeway, the flooring contractor managed to break a 1.5mm thick cable that was carefully laid before they came in to lay the wooden flooring. The residents and users of that building are now forced to rely on an infra red system which means every time someone with a hearing aid wants to listen to what is being communicated, they have to borrow an infra red receiver that needs to be maintained by the management of the village hall. Its not as though the carpet layer and flooring contractor was not warned about the cables, and one imagines that the fencing contractor should have checked to see if there were any cables under the ground they were digging in. Imagine if it had been a mains cable? I recall when I lived in Ditchling Rise and the road was being dug up by the cable company. One day I was working at home and a bang drew me to the window. A man had tragically cut through a power cable and although he didn’t die straight away, his death came shortly after.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Brighton & Hove, Community Safety, Deaf & Hard of Hearing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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