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How Can You Prevent Utility Strikes?

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By Author: Peter Ashcroft
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For the utility sector, cable or underground service avoidance is a great challenge. Cable strikes result in a significant number of injuries and death per year. Basically, the damage is caused when a cable is crushed by a powerful machine or a heavy object, or cut through by a sharp object. Strikes lead to millions of pounds in associated damages, as well as, compensation costs. With more than 60,000 strikes reported annually in the UK, contractors and those in charge of an excavation site have to be really careful not to add to that number. This is why the location and detection of underground utilities are crucial whenever you are about to dig up or excavate an area. Keep reading to know how you can avoid cable strikes.

Gain access to proper cable avoidance equipment
More than seventy per cent of strikes take place in the highways and footpaths, and the majority of these are telecom cables and LV electrical. Statistics and studies show that mostly cables are not identified and located by the excavation team during the process of pre-excavation. Of course, there can be a number of reasons why cable strikes happen, but the most common is not having access to the right equipment needed to identify and locate these underground utilities that pose a great risk to the workforce. In order to avoid strikes, cable avoidance tool is the common equipment that is used by contractors and professionals.

Get trained on how to use cable avoidance equipment
Studies have shown that about 90% of strikes take place on planned works. This means that having proper plans do not fully eradicate the risks of damaging the buried or underground utilities. As a contractor, you must be aware of the tools that are needed for the job. The problem with having a site map is that they are mostly outdated and not completely reliable. Without proper equipment and accessories, you will simply be jeopardising the lives of your workers and the public living around the excavation site.
So, it is crucial that if you are working on an excavation site, you have proper training on how to use cable avoidance tools. Also, you should be aware of which equipment is most appropriate for which situation. For this reason, CAT & Genny training courses are becoming extremely popular in the UK. You must find a professional and reputed training provider with proper accreditation.

Have a recent site map
Along with proper training in cable avoidance, you can also try getting a recent site map. It will be best if the map was issued a few weeks or months before your project began. So, you can scan the area and get a preliminary idea of what to expect. After that, you can confirm the location of the utilities by using cable avoidance tools.

Ensure to have a full kit
When it comes to detecting underground utility service, working with a complete kit makes all the difference. For instance, making use of a cable avoidance tool in the site that you are about to dig will help to locate passive signals. However, a transmitter will add the ability to apply a signal through induction or direct connection to locate signals that might not have been located in the passive search. Also, you can have accessories like, tracing rods and signal clamps. So, you need to enrol for comprehensive cable avoidance training that will give you in-depth knowledge about CAT & Genny and their uses.

You would obviously want to keep your excavation work safe for yourself, the workers involved and the people living nearby. Also, you would want to avoid having to pay compensation for injuries, repairs and replacement of utilities and so on. The best way to do so is by signing up for cable avoidance training programmes so that you know everything that you need to maintain a safe working environment. This will also make sure that your reputation remains intact.

Sygma Solutions Ltd. is a CITB ATO approved training organisation providing state-of-the-art cable avoidance training programmes at competitive prices. This training provider has a proven track record for decreasing utility strikes with utility companies and contractors.

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