In the UK, there are reports of more than 60,000 utility strikes. Even though this happens annually, the damage and loss is unprecedented. Cable strikes cause severe injuries to workers in and around the excavation site, temporary interruption of utility services and loss of reputation for the company carrying out the excavation work.
These underground utility strikes can be prevented if the workers or contractors associated with excavation or digging know the correct use of cable avoidance tools. The problem is that buried utility services are found everywhere today. It is simply not enough to rely on site maps as these maps are old and outdated. Owing to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation in the UK, the underground wires and cables of utility services are periodically increased. You might even find underground services in unexpected places. This is why it is important that you undertake utility avoidance training before commencing your excavation project. This will give you a clear idea of the places where there are buried electrical wires, cables, gas pipes, water pipes and such other utility services.
Some other reasons for undertaking cable avoidance training are given below.
Prevention or reduction of utility strikes
Buried utility strikes are problematic in several ways. As a utility worker, project manager or contractor, you must take proper steps to avoid such strikes from taking place. It is not just for the safety of the workers present on the excavation site, but also for ensuring that there are no delays in project completion. Additionally, cable strikes also cause extra expenses in the form of repairs and cleaning up. You might even be expected to pay for the damages caused to the public living in and around the site who suffered from temporary disablement of utility services.
Even if there are no apparent damages from hitting a cable, you will still have to put your project on hold and seek approval from the relevant utility board to carry on with your work.
Precaution for injuries on the excavation site
Every year, in the UK, deaths happen as a result of underground utility strikes. There are people who suffer from serious burns if an electrical cable is hit or damaged. Even gas pipe explosions result in fatal injuries. One might think that injury and death are a part of the sector. But, this does not have to be the case. Cable strikes are preventable if you know how to operate cable avoidance tools. By undertaking cable avoidance training, you can create a safe and healthy work environment for the people working with you or present in and around the site.
Cable avoidance tools, such as CAT & Genny helps in the precise and accurate location of underground utility services. Before starting the digging process, it is important to mark those areas where utility services are buried. Avoiding those areas can help to prevent severe accidents.
Extra repair works can be avoided
If you hit a cable or electric wire, it will amount to repair and replacement work. The relevant utility board might expect you to pay for damages, as well as, repair costs. Also, you will have to clean up the area if you hit or damage an electric cable, wire or gas pipe. You will have to replace the cables and also offer compensation to those people who have been affected due to the cable strike. In addition to the added expenditure, the completion of your project will get delayed. It might even result in a loss of reputation for your company.
Striking a cable is never a good situation if you want to complete your excavation project on time. Cable strikes are extremely problematic and it is best to avoid them at all costs. The best way to do so is by undertaking cable avoidance training from a reputed training company. Prevention is the only solution to this problem.