Cables strikes were in the news again recently, with another major construction company seeing fines handed down for failing to safely manage a project involving underground utilities.
The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation found that subcontractors had failed to provide adequate details of where underground utilities, such as high voltage electric cables, were located.
Unfortunately in this incident, that lack of information resulted in life-changing injuries for one worker involved on the project when the underground line was struck.
How to avoid a cable strike
In these small routine jobs, in this case replacing a traffic light pole, it’s only too easy for contractors to get straight to work on site. This incident however highlights why it is vital to consider safety before commencing work, no matter how small the job.
Plan, locate and safely excavate
That’s the guidance given by the Health and Safety Executive when working near underground services.
- Use local area plans to identify where cables are located within the work site.
- Detect and clearly mark these utilities using cable locating tools or ground penetrating radars
- Safely excavate the ground using safe digging practices
You can read more about the HSG47 excavation guidance in one of our previous blog posts [cta id=”4252″]