The Importance of Underground Cable Locators When Excavating

Posted by Tim White

Damaging underground utilities when performing excavation work can be detrimental to the environment and the people present at the site. Cables, especially, are extremely fragile, yet they can do the most damage, which is why cable locating is important before excavation work is done. For that reason, you should follow a few steps in order to reduce the risk of hazards and accidents.

The first thing you have to do is plan the work by checking for underground utilities around the site. You can do that using a Radiodetection cable locator, and if you find any active cables, you’ll probably have to make them dead before proceeding with work. Radiodetection is a premium locator manufacturer that offers a wide range of locator models fit for a wide range of applications. They offer locators that come with a wide range of features and they’re one of the most, if not the most accurate locators available on the market.

radiodetection cable locator

But no matter how accurate the locator is, you should still assess the risks and consider how the work is going to be carried out by taking all circumstances into account. The best way to do that is by finding all the necessary information about the buried services in the area where the excavation work is going to be performed and review it. If the reason for performing excavation work is an emergency and you have no time to look at plans and other important information, the work should be carried out with a lot of caution, as if there were live services present in the area.

Regardless of whether you get the necessary information or not, you should still use a Radiodetection cable locator to find and mark all underground cables and other utilities as accurately as possible. The locator should be used repeatedly and frequently during the excavation work. The operator should be trained in using the locator, and they should know its capabilities and limitations. Additionally, the locator should be regularly checked, maintained, and used per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Even then, excavation work should be performed with the utmost care, and safe digging practices should be used. Once the locator has found the positions and routes of the cables, excavation work can start. Trial holes can be dug first using hand tools, then you can start using heavy-duty digging machinery. It’s suggested that you excavate along the cables and utilities instead directly above them. Once you get close to them, start using hand tools again, as this way you can control better how you dig.

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