Have a project or job that requires excavation? When it comes to excavation safety, you can never be too cautious! The Underground Detective has given you safety tips previously, but we’re back for another installment, this time with a list of excavation do’s and don’ts.
- DO keep a reasonable clearance between underground utilities and the powered equipment.
- DO protect and preserve the color-coded markings until those markings are no longer needed
- DO call for a remark if the markings are destroyed or removed before excavation is complete
- DO be sure someone other than the equipment operator is on the job to look for any sign of the underground facility during the excavation.
- DO conduct the excavation near the underground utility VERY carefully.
- DO protect and support exposed facilities during excavation and then take care while backfilling to maintain support to prevent damage
- DO be prepared! Always have a list of emergency contact numbers for the excavation area including law enforcement, fire, and utilities. It’s also a great idea to have an emergency plan that everyone on the job is educated about.
- DON’T assume that a pipeline or cable runs straight between utility markers. Everything varies!
- DON’T assume the depth of a utility is the same depth throughout the entire route of the excavation.
- DON’T excavate within the tolerance zone with unauthorized other equipment
- DON’T refresh the utility locators marks yourself with your own paint. Call your locator to remark!
- DON’T assume all utility owners have responded to your request. Check for positive responses.
- DON’T ASSUME ANYTHING! Be 100% sure!
What To Do If Damage Does Occur
- For your safety you should immediately walk away and take steps to clear the area to protect yourself and your crew.
- DO NOT try to repair or stop a leak yourself or use anything that might
create a spark
- Contact the appropriate emergency contact
According to the Federal Pipeline Inspection, Protection and
Safety Act—a person who engages in demolition, excavation
tunneling, or construction that causes damage to a
pipeline facility that may endanger life or cause serious bodily
harm or damage to property—
- may not fail to promptly report the damage to the owner or
operator of the facility AND
- if the damage results in the escape of any flammable, toxic
or corrosive gas or liquid, may not fail to promptly report to
other appropriate authorities by calling the 911 emergency
ORC 3781.30(7) | “…take reasonable appropriate actions needed
to protect persons or property and to minimize safety hazards
until those agencies and departments and the utility arrive at
ORC 3781.30(6) | “…As soon as any damage is discovered,
including gouges, dents, or breaks to coating, cable sheathes,
and cathodic protection anodes or wiring, report the type and
location of the damage to the utility and permit the utility a
reasonable amount of time to make necessary repairs”
If you have a job that requires skilled excavators, look no further than the Underground Detectives. We use the latest technology such as GPR and Vacuum Excavation to ensure your project is safe, accurate, and done right! Contact us today for a free quote.