It is an unfortunate fact that the striking of underground services and utilities by contractors is an every day occurrence. There are approximately 60,000 such incidents every year, many of them causing serious injury, some of which are fatal. That works out to about 230 such incidents every working day.
Most contractors are responsible people and take care to try and avoid striking underground utilities, but with 230 occurrences a day it would appear that many of them are failing.
Why is this?
There could be a number of reasons. One of them is that they may rely too heavily on the STATS received from utility providers. It is a recognised requirement to have in place the plans from service providers that may have apparatus in a given site. Just to begin with, it may be difficult to know how and which utility providers to contact.
However, there can then be another problem because it can be a question of cross-referencing the STATS from different providers, as they can be in different formats and on different scales. Furthermore, the STATS may not always be accurate in the first place.
This is why it is essential to undertake a site survey before any work is carried out. The two tools used for this are the CAT and the Genny, but it is not a question of taking them out of the box and reading the instructions. If it were that simple, there wouldn’t be 60,000 strikes a year. You need to attend a training course on their use in order to understand how to use them in all modes, and, perhaps most importantly what the limitations of these pieces of equipment are.
The HSE produces a publication called HSG47 which outlines guidance on the dangers of striking utilities when carrying out any sort of excavation and the steps to take that will help to avoid such incidents.
Sygma Solutions now provides a series of courses including an HSG47 course in the use of the CAT and Genny. This HSG47 training covers every aspect of the use of the CAT and Genny in all of their different modes, and most especially describes their limitations.
For example, one problem is the depth of a service. It may be that the CAT and Genny show there is no utility present from ground level. However, it may be that there is, but the equipment cannot detect it from ground level. Thus, it is necessary to repeat a survey when having dug down about a foot or so, when a service might then show up.
About The Company:
Sygma Solutions is a specialist training company running courses in the use of the CAT and Genny to HSG47 level. For further information contact Pete on 0844 241 2597 or email email@example.com.
Sygma Solutions Ltd
93 St Georges Ave