OHS Code

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 32 Excavating and Tunnelling

Section 448 Exposing buried facilities

(1) An employer must ensure that work with mechanical excavation equipment is not permitted within the hand expose zone of a buried facility until the buried facility has been exposed to sight

(a) by hand digging,

(b) by a non-destructive technique acceptable to the owner of the buried facility, or

(c) by a method equivalent to clause (a) or (b).

(2) Despite subsection (1), an employer may use mechanical excavation if doing so does not present a hazard and

(a) if the buried facility is an electrical cable or conduit, the employer must ensure that

(i) it is grounded and isolated so that its disconnection is visible, and

(ii) the owner of the electrical cable or conduit is notified of the operation before it begins, or

(b) if the buried facility is not an electrical cable or conduit, the employer ensures that

(i) it is no longer in use, and

(ii) the owner of the buried facility gives the employer written consent to excavate or remove the facility.

(c) Repealed

(d) Repealed

(e) Repealed

(3) An employer may reduce the width of a hand expose zone for a high pressure pipeline to within 1 metre on each side of the pipeline locate marks if

(a) the high pressure pipeline is not governed by the Pipeline Act, and

(b) the employer obtains written approval from the owner of the high pressure pipeline.

(4) If the ground that will be disturbed lies within a pipeline right-of-way, an employer must

(a) contact the operator or licensee of the pipeline, and

(b) get their consent to disturb the ground.

(5) An employer must not allow the use of mechanical excavation equipment within 600 millimetres of a buried pipeline unless the use of the equipment is under the direct supervision of a representative of the owner of the buried pipeline.

(5.1) If an employer, on behalf of an electric utility, undertakes emergency work that

(a) involves ground disturbance to a depth of no more than 500 millimetres below the ground surface,

(b) is on the horizontal alignment or right-of-way of an electric utility structure, and

(c) the employer has determined that no buried facilities are present in the area affected by the work,

the employer is exempt from the requirements of subsections (1) through (5).

(6) An employer must ensure that any exposed buried facilities are protected and supported so that workers are not injured.

(7) If a pipeline is exposed during a work operation, an employer must notify the pipeline operator or licensee before backfilling the excavation.