Like all hazards in an occupational environment, identification of the hazard is a crucial first step. Being able to understand and communicate Ground Disturbance as a safety issue is critical to influencing the development and implementation of Ground Disturbance risk management.
What is a ground disturbance? Alberta OH&S Code, Part 32 “Any work operation or activity on or under the existing surface resulting in a disturbance or displacement of the soil” or ground cover. The moment you start a dig, it becomes a ground disturbance, regardless of how you move the soil.
Giving the activities associated with ground disturbances are the leading cause of damages to buried facilities, the ABCGA is actively engaged in developing standards that address real needs, such as public and worker education through standards of training.
A ground disturbance occurs any time ground is disturbed. Every day, regardless of where you are on the globe, or the weather outside, you will probably see someone creating or partaking in a ground disturbance. Ground disturbance is a complex subject with each jurisdiction having varied opinions, rules, and penalties for damaging an underground facility. Make no mistakes with the fact that damage to underground facilities can lead to disastrous repercussions.
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