When you begin a major construction project, it is always a good idea to have underground utilities marked before you begin. The consequences of hitting any type of line can be severe. You should always have utilities marked, even if you only intend to dig a few inches below the surface. Knowing where these important lines run is paramount to a successful project.
To learn more about what could happen if you strike underground utilities, this guide will show you just how dangerous it can be:
Once you notice that you have hit an underground utility line, you must stop all work on the job site immediately. While serious incidents can be rare, it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you continue to work and excavate, sparks and fire can ensue. You must notify everyone in the area and be sure to call the fire department to report the incident.
An electrical line can be equally dangerous as it can charge the ground and equipment surrounding it. You should remain still and call for help from your current location to minimize the risk of serious injury.
Sometimes, you may strike a line and be in immediate danger of fire or explosion. In this case, you should jump from the equipment and land as far away as possible with both feet hitting the ground at the same time. Proceed to hop as far away as possible, making sure both feet are always on the ground at the same time. This hopping technique helps to avoid being electrocuted. Risk of injury can be high when underground utilities have been struck.
Blowing the Budget
Most projects are done on a tight budget. Hitting an underground utility line can easily blow that budget right out of the water. If you dig without marking the lines and you manage to hit something, you could face hefty fines. You may need to pay thousands of dollars as well as take part in additional education and training.
Depending on the nature of the hit, you may also face high repair costs. This is definitely one item that is not factored into most budgets. The average cost per strike can start at a couple thousand dollars and steadily increase depending on the severity of the damage and the type of line struck.
If you manage to damage the line when you hit it, the area you are working in may experience an outage. It is best to let homeowners and business owners in the vicinity know that their outage is related to an accident at your job site. You must do your best to secure the area while notifying the authorities about the damaged line.
Avoid Hitting Utilities at All Costs
The consequences of striking underground utilities can be quite steep, costing both personal safety and extra money. It is always better to be on the safe side and have utilities marked prior to performing any type of digging. If you need experienced utility contractors in Albuquerque, be sure to call DUB-L-EE for all your construction needs!