Driving home the safe digging message on video

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There’s a new video – Don’t know, don’t dig — on the dangers of digging without being absolutely certain you know what’s under the ground. It’s a joint production by SafeWork NSW, Dial Before You Dig, Endeavour Energy, Ausgrid and Essential Energy. So its focus is on the dangers, and the consequences of damaging electricity cables.

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For example it reminds viewers that, in addition to endangering life, damaging an electricity cable could remove power from “thousands of homes schools and hospitals which could add up to millions of dollars and some pretty serious legal liabilities,” because the cable could be a high voltage cable at 132kilovolts and carry “enough power for 10,000 homes.”

The video talks of the four Ps: plan, pothole, protect and proceed. Not surprisingly the first stage of planning is to call Dial Before You Dig.

It also reminds viewers that working near electrical power lines is considered “high-risk construction work” and requires a safe work methods statement, obtainable in NSW from SafeWork NSW, whose website provides a template of a form that must be completed before starting work.

The video also reminds viewers that protecting the excavation, whether that means shoring up the excavation of providing barriers and warnings is the responsibility of the excavator.

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I came across the video on ActewAGL’s Facebook page but most people would likely see it on YouTube, where it’s been viewed more than 2000 times. The good thing about YouTube is that it will always segway to another video that its algorithms have decided is related to the one you have just watched.

These videos are likely to change but when I watched the Don’t know don’t dig video the next one usefully, and graphically, drove home the message of why it is essential to follow the advice it gives.

Under the eye-catching title of Dead man digging it demonstrated what can happen when an 11-kilovolt cable is damaged. The ‘dead man’ in this case is a dummy. As the cable fault is created he is completely engulfed in flames and reduced to a charred wreck.

And of course YouTube does not stop there: it presents a menu of related videos, such as “Huge Natural Gas Explosion Across Highway 77 in Sissonville West Virginia, Backhoe ignites gas-line fire, Digging Dangers:

This one sums it up well: The Power of Pipelines - Final Proof, Finding The Gas Line------- KA BOOM!

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