Monday, August 28th 2023
Your project is the most important project going on in the world right now.
You have a schedule to stick to and deadlines to meet. The land has been cleared, the two buildings previously onsite were demolished by your crew and you were told by the owners of the utilities that the services to these buildings have all been turned off at the street.
You are digging for a new basement for the new building going up. After reviewing the as-builts you and your team have determined that it is now safe to dig!
Is it safe to start doing that? It might not be!
What you did not know is that although the gas company turned off the gas coming into the previous building from the road on the west side of the building there was another gas line coming into the building from the road on the south side of the building. There is a gas meter, but it is 800 feet from your excavation and the meter is covered in overgrown foliage. You missed seeing it onsite and it is not on the as-builts.
Your excavation crew starts digging for the new basement and then disaster. They hit and rupture the 2-inch gas line that was coming in from the south side of the building. You got lucky because it did not immediately explode or ignite. You put a call into the gas company. You complain to them that you had called in a one-call ticket and ask why it was not marked when the gas company came for that ticket?
Their response…it is a private line from the meter to the building that is now demolished. What does that mean? The gas company only had to mark it one foot from the valve in the sidewalk to the meter hidden in the overgrown foliage. After talking to the original owner of the property you find out that it is the original gas line that was cut and capped under the slab when the new gas service was run from the west side of the building.
You thought that putting in a One-Call ticket to mark the utilities in your work area was enough, you never thought to call anyone to mark the private utilities.
This mistake that is now costing you 15,000.00 a day in downtime and the potential of a big fine from OSHA because they have made it to the site and have launched a full investigation.
Partnering with the right underground utility locating company could have prevented the disaster mentioned above. A knowledgeable team of dedicated utility locators would have allowed you to avoid the downtime, unforeseen cost, and delay in completing your project.