Safety Practices for Directional Drilling

October 7, 2020 7:47 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Directional drilling is one of the most important processes used in underground utility installation. There are many advantages associated with this process—it is much faster and more efficient, it costs significantly less than other traditional forms of drilling and trenching and, perhaps most beneficially, it prevents significant disruption to the surface in areas where drilling occurs.

Of course, as with any form of excavation, it’s crucial that workers follow the proper safety practices for directional drilling in Roseville, CA to be done smoothly. Here’s an overview of what you should know.

Potential hazards

To understand the safety precautions you need to implement during directional drilling, you must also understand the potential hazards you face on the job. All hazards should be made clear to workers during their training. Examples include:

  • Struck-by hazards: This is the most common cause of injury to workers at directional drilling job sites. To avoid them, employees should be instructed to avoid using pipe wrenches to separate the pipe string, and instead opt for tongs. A pipe wrench can slip and result in equipment striking the worker. In addition, workers will occasionally hit wrenches with hammers, or even use the backhoe to push on the wrench only to result in it coming free and striking a worker at the site. It is important to avoid these tasks for the protection of everyone at the job site.
  • Vehicle accidents: There should always be signage indicating the presence of a drilling area, and workers should always wear bright, reflective clothing to ensure visibility to equipment operators and drivers passing through the area. Of course, it is also the responsibility of workers to avoid entering the roadway except when it is entirely necessary to do so.
  • Equipment accidents: Workers must stay clear of the rotating drill and shaft during the drilling process. Workers should not stand on or over the drill string, in the receiving pit or in any area where the drill could potentially exit. Following these basic safety rules will go a long way toward preventing horrific accidents.
  • Electrocution: There is a potential risk of electrocution should a power line be struck by equipment. Therefore, workers should not touch the pipe string or equipment any time a drill is being pushed into the ground. The rule at any job site should be that only the operator of the equipment should be in contact with that equipment, and they must follow all appropriate safety protocols.
  • Gas pipe accidents: It’s possible that a drill could inadvertently strike a gas pipe during the drilling process. If this happens, the operator should immediately notify everyone at the site and instruct them all to get away from the work area and equipment. Then, workers should immediately notify 911 and the local utility department of the incident and engage emergency protocols.

These are just a few examples of some of the potential safety hazards associated with directional drilling in Roseville, CA and the steps you can take to stay safe. Contact Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc. for more information.

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