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Topic: Construction

avoidance of buried services
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Avoidance of buried services

Avoidance of buried services

When digging holes and trenches, whether on a construction site, the highway or a pavement, the chances are that you may come across buried utility services such as gas, water, communications or electricity.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards associated with the avoidance of buried services and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Avoidance of Buried Services. It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could, and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury.

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”.  

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found when working in the vicinity of buried services.


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