Should these people have been allowed to dig?


There has been yet another highly destructive fire in the US following contractors rupturing an underground gas line. Fortunately this time no one was seriously injured but a historic building, in Omaha Nebraska, was damaged – probably beyond repair, businesses were shut down and people left homeless.

Ditch Witch inventor remembered

pel605 ditch witch inventor remembered

In the 1940s the installation of residential utility services—electric, gas and plumbing lines — required slow, tedious, pick-and-shovel labour. In the small town of Perry, Oklahoma, Carl Malzahn and his son Ed ran a small machine shop specialising in repairing mechanical equipment for the region’s oil extraction industry.

One gas line, one contractor, two ruptures: one death

pel549 one gas line one contractor two ruptures one death
There’s an old saying “lightning never strikes twice.” A quick Google search will reveal that it's a myth: the forces of nature are random. People digging up the earth are not. There supposed to make sure they are not going to hit any buried pipes or cables. So how do you account for a contractor hitting the same pipeline in the same area twice, the second time with disastrous consequences?

Cat videos to dig for

pel548 cat videos to dig for
Our feline friends are internet superstars: cat videos are some of the most popular on YouTube and there’s even The Internet Cat Video Festival, a national competition in the US that celebrates cat videos on the internet. Bigger, mechanical cats — Caterpillar excavators and others — also have their niche on YouTube, but it’s not necessarily something to brag about.

Digging dangers up above

pel546 digging dangers up above
We’ve talked often about the dangers that can be encountered when digging holes in the ground; about the importance of calling Dial Before You Dig to make sure you don’t hit a pipe or a cable; about the importance of shoring up trenches to prevent collapse; but excavating equipment can also cause just as many problems up above, as two recent incidents in Australia demonstrate.

Learn how to dial before you dig

pel513 dial before you dig comes to civenex
The Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) service is very easy to use and straightforward but that hasn’t stopped a number of organisations offering training in how to use it. Here’s a sample of what’s on offer and why you might want to use them. In reality they cover much more than the service itself – information that it’s important to have if you plan to dig up the street.

Shocking advice for excavators

pel543 shocking advice for excavators
You’ve probably never heard of Harry F McGrew, but he’s in the Guinness Book of World Records, for surviving a higher voltage electric shock than any other human being, 340,000 volts to be precise.

Digging up the past of Dial Before You Dig

Ever wondered how Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) came into being? Well wonder no more. The organisation turned 21 in 2011 and produced a short five-minute video retrospective to commemorate the event. You can watch it on YouTube, {cslimited}here{/cslimited}.

PermitPA puts permission to dig process in the cloud

pel518 permitpa puts permission to dig process in the cloud
Dial Before You Dig Technologies, a joint venture of DBYD (Dial Before You Dig) and PelicanCorp, has launched a cloud-based service, PermitPA, developed by PelicanCorp, the company operating the DBYD (Dial Before You Dig) service, that greatly simplifies and streamlines the process by which contractors request from councils permission to dig up roadways and under which councils grant this permission.

30 million reasons for new digging standard

pel542 30 million reasons for new digging standard
Goodness knows how they arrived at the figure, but according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), there are more than 19 million miles — that’s more than 30 million kilometres — of pipes and cables buried beneath the surface of the earth, transporting oil and gas, water and sewerage, and electrical and telecommunications services to homes, schools and businesses.

Australia’s water mains showing their age

pel541 australia s water mains showing their age
Question: What do the Sydney suburb of Dulwich Hill and the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield have in common? Answer: They were both seriously disrupted by burst water mains, within 24 hours of each other.

States slow to adopt national excavation code


pel534 states slow to adopt national excavation code

Safe Work Australia has revised its{cslimited} Excavation Code of Practice{/cslimited}. The new version, dated March 2015, replaces that issued in October 2013. It provides practical guidance on managing the health and safety risks associated with excavation work, and applies to all types of excavation work, including bulk excavations more than 1.5 metres deep, trenches, shafts and tunnels.

Join the International Locate Rodeo and the ‘Locate from Hell’

pel539 join the international locate rodeo and the locate from hell
Think you’re a dab hand with underground infrastructure locating technologies? Then you might like to take yourself to Texas for the International Locate Rodeo 2016, to be held at a location and date yet to be determined by Texas 811, that state’s equivalent of the Dial Before You Dig service.

From CGA Conference to the Great Barrier Reef

2pel536 from cga conference to the great barrier reefBack in March 2015, Cory Tuhy, a technician with Whiting Oil & Gas Corp in North Dakota, went to the Common Ground Alliance Excavation Safety Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida; and ended up on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland Australia. All thanks to {cslimited}PelicanCorp{/cslimited}.

What you smell when you smell gas

pel535 what you smell when you smell gas
Gas stinks. It’s not very pleasant, but that’s a good thing; it means our noses can detect a gas leak, even a small one. You’ve probably heard that gas is odourless and what you smell is an additive, but have you ever wondered what they put in? Well read on…

What to do if you didn't dial before you dug

pel532 what to do if you didn t dial before you dug
The US Department of Labor has a webpage devoted to the hazards associated with striking underground gas lines. It concludes with the advice that "If the damage results in the release of hazardous gases or liquids, both the utility operator and appropriate emergency response officials should be notified immediately."

Muons: X-Ray vision for pipe inspections

pel531 muons x ray vision for pipe inspections
In what sounds like something from the realms of science fiction, researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US are using subatomic particles called muons to analyse the thickness of metal pipes and check the integrity of welded joints.