Incident alert

LOCATION:
CONSTRUCTION/DELIVERY SITE
ACTIVITY:
WORKER INVOLVEMENT
SUB ACTIVITY:
N/A
ALERT STATUS:
Normal
DATE ISSUED:
18/03/2008
INCIDENT No:
00141

TITLE
Damage to Underground Gas Pipe
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
United Kingdom
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT DETAILS
Ref: 29.02.2008
UK Safety Alert
Damage to Underground Gas Pipe
Details of the Incident
While undertaking some exploratory excavation in preparation for proposed foundations, a mechanical
excavator made contact with a live gas pipe.
The gas pipe (approx 180mm dia), was damaged but not ruptured and no gas escaped. Emergency
arrangements were initiated and the gas utility company attended the site to advise.
The initial investigation found that before breaking ground inadequate consideration had been given to the
possible presence of underground services. There was insufficient assessment of the potential risk via “Risk
Assessment” or “Worksafe”, had such assessments been carried out then this incident could have been
avoided.
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT IMAGES




LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS TAKEN
Learning Points
While undertaking any work that could potentially involve underground services of any kind, (inc’ water, gas
or electricity), precautions must be implemented to identify and safeguard any live services. Site drawings
and plans can often have important information on known services, though should not be totally relied upon.
The work must be planned to anticipate potential hazards.
Guidance Note HS(G)47, gives advice on the precautions and methods that should be adopted, to enable
the work to be carried out safely, these include:
 Only competent persons should supervise and undertake excavations.
 Any site plan indicating existing services should be used as a guide only.
 The use of appropriate scanning equipment by competent personnel to determine the exact location
of services.
 Appropriate excavation equipment should be employed where there is uncertainty including hand
digging if necessary.
 Are site emergency arrangements (contact details) effective and up to date.
Any new services should be correctly installed with suitable warning notices and service plans
updated.

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LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS IMAGES




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