When ground needed excavating in a substation on a water treatment works recently, contractors chose suction excavation as the safest excavation method.
Whilst the ground that needed exposing to get to the underground services was only one metre squared, contractors knew that 24 live cables lay underneath the service making it a tricky excavation job, fraught with potential danger.
Scoping safe excavation
Needing to ensure a safe excavation without striking any of the services, mechanical digging was quickly ruled out as it couldn’t provide enough control to ensure all of the 24 cables would be avoided whilst clearing the ground.
Hand digging provided a risk of personal injury should any live services be struck, so Pier (UK) was called in to safely excavate the buried assets using vacuum excavation.
A combination of the suction excavator’s remote control boom and on-board air lance were used to complete the job incident free. The precision control of the excavator’s boom ensured complete accuracy, supported by the air lance for precision clearing.
These kind of jobs, although they may seem small, are great examples of why safe excavation needs to be the first option when exposing live services. The consequences had any services been struck during excavation works, the risk of personal injury and service disruption to the local water supply does not bare thinking about.
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