A guided discussion through the steps that should be taken when working underground to assure that utilities are not affected, including, a set of questions to use for discussion and a sign-off form. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.
|These tailgate/toolbox talks were developed for use under California OSHA regulations. The complete set is available from the Labor Occupational Health Program at UC Berkeley. For ordering information, visit the website (www.lohp.org) The American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has adapted these talks to apply to federal OSHA regulations. To contact ACGIH, visit its web site (www.acgih.org).|
Before you begin the meeting...
- Does this topic
relate to the work the crew is doing? If not, choose another topic.
- Did you read this Training Guide and fill in the blanks where the appears? (To find the information you need, look over the Safety Walkaround Checklist for this topic.)
Begin: When excavation on a construction site accidentally hits an underground utility line, there's more than money at stake. Your own safety is in danger, too. A ruptured natural gas line can cause a fire or explosion. A severed electric line can kill you.
Underground utilities -- electric, telephone, gas, water, and others -- may be almost anywhere under a construction site. They were usually put in at different times, and they are owned by different companies. How do you find them before you dig? To prevent problems, there is a statewide telephone hotline that contractors can call. It's called Underground Service Alert (USA). USA will contact the utilities, who will come to the site and mark the location of all underground lines.
Cal/OSHA requires the contractor or property owner to call USA before digging.
You or a crew member may want to add a personal story about underground utilities.
Next, discuss with the crew where there may be underground utility hazards at this particular job site:
ASK THE CREW THESE QUESTIONS:
After each question, give the crew time to suggest possible answers. Use the information following each question to add points that no one mentions.
1. How accurate are the markings that USA makes on the ground?
- USA marks are
accurate within two feet either side of the line.
- Use caution when you work closer than five feet to underground lines that USA has marked.
2. What do the
different colors of USA markings mean?
3. How far outside the white border lines can we dig?
- You can't dig
outside the excavation border. You don't know what utility lines are
down there. The area could be unsafe. USA must mark the new area.
- There's no general
rule. It's unpredictable. Utilities are not usually placed at specific
- Digging near a utility line presents a great danger of electric shock, pipe rupture, or explosion. You may find that a particular utility line is six feet deep at one location on a site, but only one foot deep just 100 yards away. So digging must always proceed very carefully.
5. At what point do we stop mechanical excavation and begin to excavate by hand?
- Stop mechanical excavation when you get too close to a known underground line.
Explain: Most of the safety measures we've talked about are required by Cal/OSHA. We have to take these precautions -- it's the law. I have a Checklist of the Cal/OSHA regulations on underground utilities. If you'd like to know more, see me after the meeting.
(Only if applicable.) Besides the Cal/OSHA regulations, we have some additional company rules about underground utilities.
Discuss company rules: ______________________________________________
COMMENTS FROM THE CREW
Ask: Do you have any other concerns about underground utilities? Do you see any problems on our job? (Let the steward answer first, if there is one.)
What about other jobs you've worked on? Have you had any experience with underground utilities that might help us work safer on this job?
Sign Off Form
UNDERGROUND SERVICE ALERT
NAMES OF THOSE WHO ATTENDED THIS SAFETY MEETING