Cable Strikes - Underground Services

    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.



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