Most Common Dangers when Working with Various Underground Utilities

July 27, 2021

A vast network of underground utilities can be found across the country due to the benefits that they can bring to communities. For one, burying the utilities underground can minimise hazards of fire and weather disturbances. Underground utilities can likewise eliminate safety risks and accidents that are often caused by faulty conduits and other issues on utility components.

However, the processes involved in installing and maintaining these types of utilities can be complicated. As a matter of fact, they are considered to be more costly and time-consuming due to a wide array of steps needed to be conducted. One simple mistake can lead to a domino effect, affecting not just only one utility line but also other neighbouring utility lines. Installation and maintenance mistakes can even lead to disastrous incidents that can significantly put the lives of people at risk.

When working with various underground utilities, the following are some of the most common dangers that you must consider thoroughly.

Fires and Explosions

Fires and explosions are two possible effects that can be generated whenever the gas assets have become damaged and escape. If a tremendous amount of escaped gas is integrated with igniting elements such as spark or flame, then fires and explosions are expected to progress around the vicinity of the underground utilities, causing harm to nearby workers. The properties connected and surrounding the gas lines can likewise experience these issues, which can cost property damages and lives.

Electrocution

Another danger that is present when working with underground utilities is electrocution. Electrocution is a fatal injury that is often caused by electric shock. This electric shock comes from the passing of electric current from a utility line through the body. Since a human body is known to be a good conductor of electricity, then it is expected for the electric current to travel through it without any resistance.

Electric current can be truly dangerous, which is why most electrical cables are protected by specific types of coverings. Once the cables are exposed, the risk of electrocution increases significantly. Apart from electrocution, damages on the electrical lines can likewise cause explosions if they interact with a gas or a mixture of gases underground.

Property Damages

One more danger that is associated with underground utilities is property damages. Water and sewage lines have designated systems to ensure that both potable water and wastewater are delivered to their intended destinations. The damages to their lines can be dangerous since the water inside often moves under high pressure. Failure to resolve these problems can gradually damage properties and structures that are running these lines. Backflow may even exist due to damages to water pipes and sewers. Ultimately, the existence of damages on water pipes and sewers can likewise affect the environment.

One great way to avoid risks and dangers when working with various underground utilities is through cable detailing. It is the detailed recording of the overall quantity and location of various underground assets and is often done before the assets are installed. To know more about this process, you can call us at Metro Pits.

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