Up to this point we have covered the dangers of ground disturbance, as well as what and who is involved in a ground disturbance. Now we need to understand the logical progression of a ground disturbance activity so that we can better prevent and avert all related ground disturbance incidents.
Step One: Pre Job planning; we need to ensure that proper documentation is obtained, reviewed and understood prior to the ground disturbance occurring.
Step Two: Search the area; we need to determine the ground disturbance area and the search area. An effort must be made to ensure that all the required mechanisms for performing a search are completed.
Step Three: Notification; it is our obligation to provide notification of the nature and extent of the ground disturbance and a request to locate to all the facility owners who were determined to be present in the search area.
Step Four: Marking; it is paramount that we set up a meeting with the locators who are marking the underground facilities and obtain the locate map.
Step Five: Exposure; we need to determine the extent and method of hand exposure prior to mechanical excavation.
Step Six: Inspection; we must ensure the owner of the facility inspects their facility prior to backfill to make certain no damage has occurred.
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