• 17Dec2018

    Important Tips for Working Safely Near Underground Assets

    Important Tips for Working Safely Near Underground Assets

    There is no denying that with the technological advancement and urban development in Geelong, the underground has become a spider’s web of utility networks. The underground assets include electric cables, gas pipes, water pipes, etc. It also includes inactive pipes, cables and storage tanks.

    With every passing day, mapping of underground utilities is becoming more difficult and challenging task. These assets pose safety risks to the people working around the area. Whether active or not, damage to underground utilities can result in fatal incidents like explosions, electric shock, gas release, etc. it can also cause disruption of gas, electricity or water supply. Incidents may also occur when damage to the assets is unreported and unrepaired.

    Thus, before starting any excavation work, it is highly important to locate all the underground assets. The following will assist you in working safely near underground assets.

    Dial Before You Dig & Getting in Touch with The Asset Owners

    DBYDThis is the first and foremost step that you need to take before commencing any excavation process. Dial Before You Dig, a free national community service provides data about the underground pipe location and cable location belonging to the various utility companies in Australia. These records can guide your team to stay safe while carrying out excavation work.

    Here you need to know that Dial Before You Dig may not identify all underground pipe location. Some might be a part of the private installation and underground asset owners who are not the members of the Dial Before You Dig. Thus, never assume that the plan you receive contains the accurate information. You might still need to carefully and physically locate the underground utilities for confirmation.

    It’s highly advisable to contact the asset owners, as they can provide the recommended practices for your team to work safely on the location. In case of any emergency work where the records of the property are also not available, the team should assume that the underground assets are present, even if there is no marking. Particularly, in the urban areas where there is a complex network of utilities.

    We also need to consider the changes that might have occurred over time on that particular property.  There might be a possibility that the asset owners’ plans don’t include all the underground pipes and cables currently present in the area. Even the relocations or new installation might have occurred over the years.

    Before commencing any excavation work, what we need here is the most accurate and recent data. Old records might be no more reliable. Moreover, old data might not accurately show the alignment and depth of the underground pipes and cables.

    Check Location of The Electricity Cables & Water Pipes

    Water Pipes Detection

    Contact with an energised underground electric line can be fatal. Apart from this, trips and falls might also occur which can result in serious injuries to workers. The same thing occurs with the water pipes too. And damage to water pipes might release high-pressure water which is enough to cause fatal injuries and damage materials and equipment. This can prolong the projects too.

    Due to these potential risks, project managers should often hire the certified utility location services for the precise identification and detection of underground water pipes and electric cable location. Asides from the cables, we also need to have an accurate map that clearly exhibits the path of the cables and pipe location in Geelong, from one end to another in the worksite.

    Stay Safe While Working Near Underground Assets

    The first thing we need to do here is to determine the identity, location and depth of the underground assets. A certified service provider of GIS utility mapping in Geelong will utilise the state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies to map the underground infrastructure.

    Regardless, if the underground assets are active or completely decommissioned, there should be identified and located before commencing any excavation work. Once utilities are accurately determined, one can perform the actual digging. The entire excavation process should be properly planned as per the location and depth of the underground assets. This makes the entire process faster and safer, as workers now know where to pay special attention.

    The main goal here is to:

    • Keep the workers safe on-site
    • Preventing damage to any underground assets
    • Maximising speed and efficiency 

    With accurate and real-time information, you can plan better and work better.

    In a Nutshell:

    Whether it’s an electric cable or water pipe, all underground utilities pose health hazards and safety risks to the workers. To protect your workers and yourself from all those hazardous risks, you need to have the complete information about the underground assets. This can merely be achieved by hiring professional and certified utility location services in Geelong. With the complete information on-hand, the entire team can formulate a precise plan to keep the workplace safer and efficient for everyone.


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