Excavating or digging holes in the ground is a primary part of construction, as well as, of the maintenance and installation of underground utility services. Unfortunately, every time that a hole is dug there is a risk of striking and damaging the underground services. The damage caused by utility strikes can be dangerous and expensive, and it can also seriously ruin the reputation of a company. Moreover, it can cause severe injuries to the workers and result in temporary disablement of utility services for buildings and homes around the excavation site. For contractors associated with the construction industry or utility companies, it is their fundamental competence to be able to safely excavate an area. Luckily, there are well-established techniques that can help to reduce these risks.
Excavations in the UK with fewer regulations result in more than sixty thousand utility strikes each year. This causes damage to buried utility services, loss of life or serious injury to the workers, loss of reputation and result in no electricity or water for a few days in the buildings nearby the excavation site. The mega-trend of expanding urbanisation means that there will be more and more pipes and cables in the ground, and therefore, more digging. Damage to buried assets is a serious problem unless the correct steps are taken. So, excavations need to be highly-regulated and before digging, there must be a thorough survey of the area to find the precise locations of the underground services including water pipes, gas cables, electricity cables, sewage pipes and so on.
The main reasons why cable strikes happen are given below:
Proper detection tools are not used and contractors rely on outdated site maps
Not knowing how to operate the detection tools
Safe work practices are not being implemented and digging of the ground is being carried out without a proper survey of the area, which puts the workers’ lives at risk
Luckily, there is a very simple solution to this problem and that is undertaking CAT & Genny training from a reputed and professional training provider in the UK.
Use detection tools before digging the ground
CAT (cable avoidance tool) and Genny (signal generator) work in tandem together to help detect and locate underground services. CAT & Genny are the best detection equipment when it comes to locating buried utility services. With proper training, contractors and workers will be capable of carrying out a thorough survey or scan of the excavation site. Of course, you can also make use of the maps to get a rough idea about the buried services, but you must never only rely on the maps. Site maps are outdated and they can never tell you the precise location of the underground utility services.
By using CAT, you can locate and detect live wires and cables. However, CAT cannot help you find all the underground services and once the power has been turned off, CAT will not be able to locate the wires or cables in the ground. This is when Genny comes to help. Genny or signal generator applies a distinctive signal to the buried cables, pipes and wires that CAT is able to easily detect.
Now, you can mark the areas where CAT & Genny detective underground services and be careful to dig around those areas so that you do not strike a cable or pipe. This will make sure that your project continues smoothly without any delays. In case of a cable strike, your project will be paused unless the wire or cable has been repaired or replaced. In most cases, the company responsible for the excavation has to bear the repair and replacement cost.
So, boost your skills and knowledge by undertaking CAT & Genny training. This will help you in preventing cable strikes and carrying out your excavation work without any harm to the workers.