Underground 110V Electric Line Struck while Augering

Image for Underground 110V Electric Line Struck while Augering

Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  S.M. Stoller Corporation, Fernald

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Electrical, Maintenance, Work Management/Planning, Excavation

On February 9, 2015 a subcontractor for the Fernald site electrical upgrades project was using an auger to make holes to install bollards near the newly installed switchgear, south of the leachate permanent lift station. While augering the hole, conduit was hit. An electric wire was broken as it wrapped around the auger (approximately 30 feet was wrapped). The breaker for the lift station tripped. In October 2014, the same subcontractor was trenching in the same area and uncovered the conduit containing the 110V line. The line had not been identified by the line locating service who used Ground Penetrating Radar to scan the work area.

Lesson Statement: When planning and performing ground penetration work, personnel must be more vigilant about providing the level of detail required by penetration permitting procedures, consulting drawings, and avoiding assumptions or relying on memory about utility line locations. Additionally, there must be greater effort placed on pursuing a variety of utility line location techniques and exhausting all reasonable efforts to determine line locations as part of the work planning process.

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