Step number four of our ground disturbance safe is Marking; it is paramount that we set up a meeting with the locators who are marking the underground facilities and obtain the locate map. Once the notifications to the facility owners have occurred, the locating and marking of the underground facilities must take place as the ground disturber, you must clearly understand what the responsibilities of a locator are and what they will be providing to the ground disturber.
Suitable facility markers include but are not limited to: pin flags (wire or biodegradable), coloured paint or UV (sunlight) sensitive paint, chalk, stake chasers (fiber clusters), wooden lathes etc. the markers must conform to the APWA Colour Code for the temporary marking of the buried structures, OR, be site specific – exceptions can be made if the colour causes confusion.
Note: supervisor approval is recommended before replacing markers that are inadvertently knocked over. If there is any doubt as to the original location of the marker, A NEW LOCATE MUST BE REQUESTED by the ground disturber.
It is imperative you have the correct information and that the locating and marking of the buried facilities is done before the commencement of any work. It is also important to meet the locators who are marking the underground facilities and to obtain the locating map. Below are some of the benefits of possessing a plot plan before ground disturbance. Plot Plans shows facility locations found during search process. Plot Plan can be reviewed and cross-referenced, plot plan can also be used as a guide to share information.
We must never consider a map as accurate as it is only a guide. Theoretically, It is up to the party creating the ground disturbance to ensure the location of the facility through line locating and hand exposure. We must also remember that line locating is not an exact science or technology. Line locating marks should only be considered to be the general location of the underground facility. Remember to always call before you dig.
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