All contractors who are going to undertake any type of work which involves penetration of the ground need to undertake a survey of the area that they are going to dig in order to establish whether or not there are any underground services in the vicinity. Unless you live in one of the remote parts of the Scottish isles, it is very likely that you have electricity, water, sewage, and telecoms in your home as a minimum and all of these services arrive at your home underground, or mostly underground. Some telephone cables do of course reach buildings from a nearby telegraph pole.
What this means is that all these services can be found virtually anywhere, and it is thought that there are probably around 2.5 million miles of such services in the UK. This means that it is essential for any contractor to undertake a survey of the area before commencing work. A contractor should also obtain plans from utilities serving the area, but it should be noted that these are not always complete, and they may not be accurate either: they should only be used as a guide.
There are a number of tools which can be used to detect the presence of underground services, namely the Cable Avoidance Tool (CAT) and Signal Generator (Genny). These are excellent in helping to locate and identify underground services, but specialist CAT training is needed in order to understand how to use them in all their modes, and also their limitations.
Sygma Solutions Is the leading provider of a CAT course in the UK and has training courses which are recognised as such by The Survey Association, the EUSR, and the CSCS. Training is carried out in accordance with HSG47 and PAS256. The courses can be carried out anywhere in the UK that is suitable for the client, or they can be carried out at the company’s headquarters in Wigan. Courses cover work in the classroom, which is followed by practical work on site, so that operatives will feel comfortable that they understand the use of the CAT and Genny.
Sygma Solutions Ltd
93 St Georges Ave