Skip to content

Toolbox talk on working near underground cables.

underground cable photo

Toolbox talks on working near the underground cable.

Underground cables are cables laid under the ground. They are not visible to people. Live underground cables pose a safety risk during unplanned and poorly managed excavations in an area. Poor management of excavation around underground cables may result in fatal consequences, and disruption of that utility will have devastating consequences for the people using it.

Exercise more care during excavations to prevent exposing people to danger and damage to equipment due to encountering live cables. 

Conduct proper enquiries before excavation, and your supervisor should check the available maps for underground cables before starting the excavation activity. 

Underground cables can be for television, electricity or telephone. Ensure you identify the ones that pass through your excavation area before commencing any excavation. 

How to ensure safety around underground cables while excavating your site?

  • Get an underground cable locating device to locate all underground cables in your work area. But then, you must know how to use the device effectively.
  • When handling any cable, treat them as live cables until an appropriate check on the Cables says otherwise. Doing this will save you from electrocution and other live cable risks. 
  • Make sure you hand-dig the ground to locate the cable. Do not use any heavy equipment to do so. Get to where the marker tapes or tiles are placed and gently trace the cables. Use your Cable locating device until you get to the exact location of the cables underground.
  • When the cables are finally exposed, ensure you protect them from damage until you finish your work in that area. Make sure that your activity does not damage the cables.
  • Repair any accidental cable damage and correct them before placing them back. Ensure you utilize the services of competent persons to address it. 
  • Follow all necessary steps to place the cable back in its original position with the marker tapes and tiles. Carefully backfill the excavated area accordingly. 

Read also:

About The Author

1 thought on “Toolbox talk on working near underground cables.”

  1. I appreciated you pointing out that underground cables are not visible to people. My friend wants their security cable to be laid under the ground. I should advise her to turn to a provider that offers underground security cable.

Please you can leave a reply for us at this point