Safety measures in the drilling industry are usually set up to help workers to avoid getting caught up in drill-related hazards and accidents. Although there isn’t much risk associated with the installation of underground pipes and cables using the HDD technology, measures still have to be put in place since the workers are still at risk of explosions, electrocutions, leaks, etc. Safety is one of the key points of hdd machine drilling construction and needs to be given much attention.
Safety Measures For Horizontal Directional Drilling Machine Workers
Every day in their line of work, workers in the drilling industry are exposed to numerous dangers of horizontal drilling. This is due to the fact that it’s so easy to come in contact and cause the rupturing of already existing underground electricity, steam, chemical, gas, water, and sewage pipes. Here are some tips that are a part of a safety management plan to ensure that workers stay safe all the time:
- Whenever possible, work far away from already existing lines. However, if that is unavoidable always go very slowly around these areas.
- Always perform a visual inspection of the planned path before you can start drilling. To be even surer, dig small holes along the path to see if there’s anything underneath. This technique is referred to as potholing.
- Find the time to contact utility companies that offer their services within the area and ask for maps to see the routes that their lines follow. Make sure to review these drawings to know of their product lines; exact locations.
- Never make adjustments while the horizontal directional drilling machine is in operation. Make sure that everything, especially the cutting tools, is running well before you start drilling. This way you won’t need to make any adjustments.
- Do not wear any loose clothing such as scarves or leave your long hair to be free. These may get caught inside the turning tools and you could end up getting hurt.
- Always wear eye protection while operating the horizontal directional drilling machines. Sharp debris may fly around and accidentally get into your eyes.
- Walk around the drilling path with a tracker or a handheld natural gas detector and look for signal strength variations or other unusual readings and mark these specific locations. This will help you any potential risks, problems, or obstacles on the path.
- Finally, ensure that you have specific training for the job before you can start working. The information you get will be very helpful in identifying utility lines in the event that you missed anything from your previous research. For example, if you hear a hissing sound from the ground or smell a distinctive odor, that means that there is a gas leak. This calls for you to take necessary safety measures and preventive precautions as dictated in the good drilling practices guideline. Evacuate the area before debris starts blowing into the air or worse, an explosive fire starts.
Conclusion Using drilling machines dictates that you follow the set safety standards as these machines are quite dangerous if you are not careful. Being keen about following the safety procedures while handling this hand-operated equipment will help you minimize the risk of accidents as well as time wastage and loss of materials. Although there is really no guarantee that you will always be safe if you are careful, following the above-listed tips will give you some sort of assurance.