If you are a contractor involved with any type of excavation work, you should be aware of the importance of taking necessary precautions in order to prevent striking of any type of underground utility services. Underground cables and pipes can be anywhere and even in places where you would not expect to find them. This means that you must not start digging or excavating an area unless you have conducted a thorough survey of the area and know where the utility services are buried. For accurate results, people make use of cable avoidance tools.
Until a few years back, maps were used by contractors to determine where utility services are buried or hidden. However, these maps are usually outdated and do not help in accurate detection. The UK is already experiencing more than 60,000 cable strikes on an annual basis and that is causing a loss of life or injury, suspension of utility services in the nearby area and monetary losses owing to the project being paused until the time the services are up and running. As a contractor, you can avoid these mishaps by gaining proper knowledge and understanding of how to use cable avoidance equipment.
The 2 primary tools that are made use of to locate hidden or underground services are the cable avoidance tool (CAT) and the signal generator (Genny). These equipment are capable of locating a number of underground services. The CAT is able to detect signals that are being naturally radiated from metallic services. The Genny mode enables CAT to detect radiated tones that are being conducted by a conductor that is buried deep within. The Genny helps to apply a distinctive signal. However, there are limitations to these tools and the only way to overcome those are through proper cable avoidance training. It is strongly recommended that you do not consider yourself to be an expert on using these tools by simply reading the manuals.
Below given are a few reasons why cable avoidance training is important.
Decreases cable strikes: In many ways, cables strikes are problematic. As a contractor or project manager, you should take every necessary step to avoid them. It is for the safety of your workforce and also ensures that there is no delay in the completion of your project that might arise from cable strikes. To add to that, cable strikes might warrant extra expenses in the form of cleaning up and repairs. Even if there is no such apparent damage as a result of a cable strike, you will still have to pause your project and seek approval to carry on with your work from the relevant utility board.
Prevents the need for repair works: In case you hit a cable by mistake during your excavation work and everyone in the area avoid injury, it is great news. However, you will still be left with the major task of cleaning up. There will be cables needing replacement and also potential downtime for anyone who has been affected due to the cable strikes, such as electricity cut or water supply stopped. As the one responsible for the excavation work, you will have to bear the compensation and repair costs. Along with bearing extra expenditure, there will also be delays in the completion of the project, which will again cost money, as well as, loss of reputation.
Helps to save lives: This is pretty much the most crucial reason when it comes to undertaking cable avoidance training. Proper training will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to save lives of the workers, yourself and of the public around the excavation site. By knowing how to use cable avoidance tools, you will be capable of preventing injuries and protecting lives.
So, now you know why cable avoidance training is important. All that is left is to look for a professional and reputed training provider who will teach you everything you need to know about these tools.