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Cable Avoidance Training Is Crucial And Here’s Why

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By Author: Peter Ashcroft
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All those associated with excavation or digging work must take proper precautions so that striking of buried or hidden utility services can be avoided. Underground pipes and cables can be anywhere, and therefore, you simply cannot begin digging the ground unless you know exactly where they are located. Thorough surveys are necessary before the beginning of the excavation process so that cable strikes can be avoided. If you are not already aware of this, 60,000 cable strikes annually are experienced by the UK alone.

Cable strikes cause more than monetary losses as a result of the project being paused or delayed. They also result in the suspension of utility services in the buildings that are in and around the excavation area. Contractors or those in charge of the excavation project might also have to bear the expenses of repair or replacement of the underground utility services. The worst result of cable strikes is the loss of life and injury. Such mishaps and issues can be prevented if you gain in-depth understanding and knowledge about cable avoidance tools and how the equipment can be operated.

Previously, project managers or contractors used to depend on maps in order to detect and locate underground utility services. But, the problem with maps is that they are often outdated and inaccurate. This is why contractors today rely on two tools, known as CAT & Genny. These tools help in the accurate detection and location of buried utility services. Whilst the CAT or cable avoidance tool is capable of detecting signals that are being naturally radiated from metallic services, Genny helps CAT in detecting radiated tones being conducted by a conductor. The Genny or G helps to apply a unique signal.

Even though the use of the tools sounds simple, there are certain limitations that the operator will have to overcome. Proper training is the answer to overcoming such limitations. Also, it is recommended that contractors should not assume themselves to be experts without proper training. Of course, the equipment comes with a manual, but without proper training, it is not possible to correctly operate the equipment.

Genny helps to apply a distinctive signal. However, there are limitations to these tools and the only way to overcome those are through proper cable avoidance training. It is strongly recommended that you do not consider yourself to be an expert on using these tools by simply reading the manuals.

Broadly speaking, cable avoidance training is considered to be a necessity due to the following three reasons.

 Life-saver: Cable strikes can cause injury and sometimes loss of life. If you are a contractor or supervisor, you would not want your workers to lose their life on the job. It is your duty to create a safe working environment for your staff. This is only possible if you have the proper training and skills to use cable avoidance tools. By using CAT & Genny, you can protect lives and prevent injuries at work.

 Reduces cable strikes: Cable strikes are not pleasant. They cause injury, project delay, extra expenses and a bad reputation. Also, the people living near the excavation site might not have utility services for a few days like, water, gas and electricity. With training, you would know exactly which part to avoid and where the utility services are hidden.

 No need for expensive repair work: If you hit an underground cable by mistake and it does not cause any injury, it would still result in your project being paused. You might even have to pay for repairs and replacement. Then, you might even have to convince the utility board to allow you to resume your excavation work. In case the damage is too much, you might even have to pay compensation.

Simply put, starting an excavation work without knowing where the utility services are buried underground is a bad decision. Get proper cable avoidance training and be able to create a safe working environment for your workers.

Sygma Solutions Ltd. provides cable avoidance training courses at competitive prices. Their comprehensive programmes offer both theoretical and practical knowledge. Their courses are accredited and meet the standards of the industry.

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