Safety Saturday

Avoiding Utility Hits

There are many hazards to consider during excavation work, with underground utilities being one of the major hazards. Today’s Safety Saturday moment goes over how to avoid utility hits.

Before digging starts, be sure to have a thorough approach to avoid underground utility strikes. Should issues arise during excavation or a utility line is damaged, proper procedures need to be in place. Dig Safe markings should be present wherever there is an underground utility, and these color-coded markings indicate what’s in the ground and where. The only place where these markings may not be present is on private properties or facilities, so different line locating methods like radar or as-built drawings will need to be used. Within the tolerance zone of the utility, only use vacuum excavation or hand digging. If unmarked utilities are discovered or utilities are not where they should be, call the 811 system and report it. Any damage done to a line must be reported as soon as safely possible with documentation. 

Until next time, from all of us at the W. L. French Safety Department, stay safe out there.

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