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Underground Services Toolbox Talk

Below you find a complete free tool box talk on underground Services. To learn more about TBT’s and view and download 60+ covering everything! With our tool box talks kit click here

Underground Services

Introduction: There continue to be numerous injuries, and several fatalities, every year as a result of contact with underground services.

Main points:
• Ensure that as much research as possible is carried out to identify underground services prior to any work commencing (existing plans, service authorities, etc).
• Clearly mark potential locations of underground services.
• Employ safe digging techniques wherever underground services are suspected.

Discussion points:
• Ensure all employees are aware of actions to be taken in event of discovering possible services.
• Remember that gas is both inflammable and explosive. If any gas leak is suspected, leave the area and call the gas and emergency services (do not smoke in vicinity!).
• Beware that modern house mains are often smaller diameter plastic pipes – do not confuse with electric cables!
• Follow gas company specifications for back-filling.
• Beware when working with water mains; remember that water at high pressure can cause serious, and even fatal, injuries, and that a burst water pipe can fill an excavation very quickly. Contact the water services immediately if water pipes are damaged.
• Ladders should be provided for access/egress to excavations containing water pipes.
• Don’t leave lengths of pipes unsupported, and don’t drop tools/equipment onto exposed pipes.
• Be especially aware if foul sewers are damaged as they carry specific health hazards – evacuate immediately and contact the water company.
• If you have to work in or near foul sewers, then wear PPE to protect against sewage, and wash hands before eating, drinking or smoking.
• If you break a stormwater sewer when rain is falling, then evacuate as it could flood without warning.
• Remember buried service colour coding:
o Black or red: Electricity
o Blue: Water
o Yellow: Gas
o Grey or white: Telecommunications
o Green: Cable television


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