Utility lines such as water and gas pipes, phone lines, and sewer lines are mostly found underground, which can sometimes be damaged if excavation work is done recklessly.
Ground excavation is done to install a new utility line or to repair a faulty one. Therefore, one should take specific measures and precautions before any excavation to ensure that previously installed utility lines are not hit or damaged in the process.
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Following are some simple ways to help paving contractors avoid damaging utility lines in the process of excavation.
1. Mark The Location
The best way to protect utility lines during an excavation project is by finding their locations as accurately as possible. Mapping out their exact location would help keep away heavy machinery and equipment from it.
2. Proceed With Caution
Suppose due to any reason, it is not possible to notify the employers of the utility lines or to map the exact location. In that case, the contractors are advised to proceed with caution in the worksite and use the necessary equipment to detect utility lines.
3. Make Notes
It is essential for the contractors at the job site to be continually taking notes before and after the excavation of the job site. This can help identify any significant changes in the utility lines before and after excavation.
4. Call The Authorities
While you may be equipped with the right machinery and taking all the precautions, it is vital to have the authorities present at the job site to prevent any accident from happening.
5. Clear The Area
The worksite area is equipped with heavy machinery, so it needs to be cleared of people living nearby to avoid accidents. Also, during excavation, the engineers should cover the open utility lines to prevent damage to them.
6. Communication Is Key
It is the peak of construction season, which means there could be many underground repairs happening in one place altogether. Plus, since the utility lines are installed in a cramped up position, this could confuse different contractors for various repairs. Therefore, communication between them is necessary so that the work is done correctly with no accidents.
7. Notify The Owners
It is best to notify the utility companies’ owners 24 hours in advance to be present and guide accordingly.
8. Inspect The Ground
Surveys suggest that excavation work kills 2-3 workers every month while damaging the utility lines, making it a severe threat. We can avoid this by checking the ground’s texture and moisture before the start of the excavation process. A neutral atmosphere is also preferred for a smooth pit as the ground is sloppy and wet after rain.