Excavating Near Gas Lines Toolbox Talk

25 Aug 2021 - Flaaim

Excavating Near Gas Lines

Hitting a gas line can be extremely dangerous because of the risk of explosion. To ensure that you never are faced with this risk, it is crucial that everyone follows the safety precautions below

Before beginning to excavate in an area,

Once the utilities have been marked out, workers may hand dig (shovels) in cuts up to 1 foot deep (0.3m).

After hand digging the first foot, then mechanical equipment (Excavators, backhoes …) may be used to remove surface material down to the limits of the hand dig area. This process continues until the line is located by hand. You may not dig with mechanical means within one foot of a gas pipe AT ANY TIME

AT NO TIME IS MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT ALLOWED TO DEEPEN THE EXCAVATION PAST THE HAND DIG AREA WITHIN THE BOUNDARY LIMIT.

If gas is escaping from a ruptured line, do not attempt to repair the line.

Instead:

  1. SECURE THE AREA
    • Evacuate the site, eliminate all ignition sources, re-route traffic.
  2. NOTIFY PROPER AUTHORITIES (from a safe location)
    • Utility Company,
    • Fire Department, (if applicable)
    • Neighbors / Businesses alerted,
    • WorkSafeBC in the following scenarios:
    • People evacuated from building,
    • Gas seeped into sewers or drains,
    • Person required medical treatment,
    • Gas leak ignited,
    • Repair workers entered the gas envelope when the atmosphere contained flammable gas or vapor concentrations in excess of 20% of the LEL,
    • Non-gas company worker entered an excavation, after a strike to attempt to stop or slow the flow of gas.
  3. FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS
    • The site shall remain closed until the Utility Company notifies the employer that it is safe to allow a return to work.
    • Conduct an accident investigation

If a pipe has been struck, jarred or the surface of the pipe has been damaged:

  1. Stop all work and call Terasen Gas.
  2. Check for the smell or sound of gas escaping.
  3. Don’t Backfill! Terasen Gas must physically check the integrity of the piping system and repair any damage.

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