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Best Practices for Digging Near Gas Lines

digging near gas lines
July 6, 2023

Excavating near gas lines is a common and often necessary task for many construction projects. When not managed properly, however, this activity can present hazards, possibly leading to property damage, serious injury, or even death. That’s why it’s so important to take the necessary steps to do the job safely and accurately if you have plans to dig.

A Guide for Safe Digging around Gas Pipelines

1. Contact the Utility Company

Before beginning any excavation near gas lines, be sure to contact the local utility company, gas company, or pipeline operators. The utility company will be able to provide details about the location and depth of gas lines in the area, as well as other important information that could be useful for the excavation. Always follow the instructions provided by the utility company to ensure safe excavation.

2. Invest in Detector Technology

The latest detector technology can be extremely useful when it comes to excavation near gas lines. Technology such as ground penetrating radar (GPR) can help workers identify the exact location of nearby gas lines and take the necessary steps to safely excavate the area.

Utility line locator services are often a good choice if you are preparing to dig around a gas line or underground utility and need to pinpoint and/or map its exact location. 

3. Follow Local Regulations

Any excavation near gas lines needs to be done in accordance with local regulations. Before beginning the project, be sure to review any local laws related to excavation. Depending on where the excavation is taking place, permits may need to be obtained before work begins. 

The federal energy regulatory commission (FERC) regulates interstate natural gas pipelines and other transmission pipeline systems in the United States, so it is a good idea to become familiar with their guidelines.

4. Use Protective Gear

It’s also important to make sure that all workers are wearing the appropriate protective gear when excavating near gas lines. This includes gloves, eye protection, and face masks. 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to use non-sparking tools when working near any service lines to avoid any unexpected sparks that could lead to explosions or disruptions.

5. Allow for Adequate Ventilation

Finally, make sure to allow for adequate ventilation when excavating near gas lines. When possible, open any windows or doors in the area to ensure that ventilation is sufficient. This will help reduce the risk of any gas buildup that could lead to an explosion or fire.

UtiliSource: Take No Risks With Gas Lines

UtiliSource’s utility locator services can help you safely locate and mark public utilities, such as gas pipelines, before you start any excavation project. With the latest technology available, you can be confident that gas pipelines will be precisely located and thoroughly marked. Call before you dig and take advantage of our services today to prevent costly gas pipeline damage. Don’t wait until an emergency happens – contact UtiliSource to get started!

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