Cable Strikes – Underground Services
Buried services include:
- Electricity cables
- Water pipes
- Gas pipelines and Other services such as telecommunications cable and oil or fuel pipelines.
Buried services present a significant risk because:
- They cannot be seen
- They are potentially dangerous if inadvertently damaged
Before any excavation work starts you must:
- Check the site plan for buried services – this may not always be accurate, so if no cables are shown, don’t assume that none are there
- Obtain utility service drawings from the various service companies prior to carrying out any excavation work
- Conduct a walkover survey, looking for any markers that have been placed to identify buried services
- Look for cables going underground on adjacent structures or buildings
- Never assume cables run in a straight line.
- A cable uncoiled from a drum into a trench will snake.
- Cables are often looped below ground to take up excess lengths to avoid trimming at the time of the original installation
- Complete a scan using a scanning device (CAT – Cable Avoidance Tool – and Genny). You must be trained to use a CAT scanner and Genny.
- Ground Probing Radar should be considered for the location of cables / services. This will also give an indication of the depth of the service.
Before excavation work commences, complete:
- A Risk Assessment of the task, and A Permit To Work / Permit To Dig for the excavation site or area Identify the hazards you have found, the risks arising from the hazard(s), and how you are going to control them.
IF IN DOUBT STOP