There are always risks of running into a problem on the job site. However, failing to plan properly for a dig should never be one. In fact, the law is pretty clear about the protocols you should be following prior to every excavation, so make the right choice and call Blue Stakes before you dig in Utah.
Taken from the article:
“A pipe bursts. High-pressure gas flies into the air, and the risk of an explosion grows every second. That’s what can happen if natural gas pipeline is ruptured during an excavation project, and the same scenario was demonstrated at the Iowa LICA Farm in Melbourne Wednesday.
There were two scenarios at the event, one done with correct safety procedures and the other done without those steps.
During the incorrect scenario, two excavators arrive on a future digging site where, unbeknownst to them, a natural gas line runs underground.
Despite the risk, one excavator hopped into the large, yellow back-hoe nearby while the spotter helped him begin digging. Neither called Iowa One Call or did any close inspection of the site.
As the claw of the machine struck the ground, white steam screamed up. The excavator jumped from the back-hoe and ran away from the scene. The spotter fell “injured.”
Area emergency personnel arrived on-scene shortly thereafter, and firefighters set up a “wall of water” spray formation to keep the “gas” from igniting or exploding. Meanwhile, a second team got the spotter out on a stretcher.
In a correct scenario, excavators arrive on-site well before digging begins to get a lay of the land and check for potential hazards, like underground pipelines. They must then spray a white line in the area to be excavated and call Iowa One Call at 811 at least 48 hours before digging, per state law.”