Hydrovacing involves pressurized water to move the earth’s surfaces and a robust vacuum to collect debris (also called slurry) in a truck-mounted container. It is often used to expose underground utilities and pipelines safely. Hydrovacing is especially helpful in finishing tasks like trenching, dewatering, potholing, and daylighting without disturbing nearby surfaces. Vac truck companies ensure the fastest, most reliable, and safest completion of any excavation project. However, it is crucial to follow a security checklist to scale back the probabilities of any possible injuries. In this article, you will learn the safety measurements for Hydrovac Services.
Hydrovacing is the safest way to get the excavation job done without any unwanted damages. However, the security of workers is at risk if proper safety techniques are not followed. By ignoring safety procedures, unwanted ground/utility damages, electrical shocks, and life losses may occur. Some safety measures of hydrovac excavation are as follows:
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Only the well-trained crew can ensure the maximum output of hydrovac services. Mishandling can be dangerous; therefore, the workers should follow safety protocols. For instance, an employee should not be within close proximity to a powered wand without protective equipment. Similarly, workers may face blunt injuries from sharp objects flying off during procedures; Following items are the first line of defense against unwanted accidents during hydrovacing:
g) Hard hats
Professional vac truck companies prioritize the provision of PPE for their crew members.
- Focus on employee training
Due to its technical nature, the worker on a hydrovac truck must be well trained and should be well equipped with safety knowledge to avoid any untoward incidents. This is important for a safe and smooth process. Before starting hydrovacing, the crew must understand the use of all their equipment, like choosing a nozzle that accurately fits the pressure pipe’s muzzle and more.
Further to that, the worker must essentially learn the emergency shut-off functions and water pressure settings. That will help all the team members to work with fewer errors and risks.
- Use proper signage on site
A warning sign and indication sticker, which is appropriately mentioned on a hydrovac job site, ensure maximum work-related safety. Such signs not only put the team members in safety but the public also.
These signs may flag the following alerts based on the provided hydrovac services and associated risks:
- Warnings to the staff to follow the safety rules and encouraging the public for the same.
- Enforcing phrases regarding the utilization of personal protective equipment (PPE) when entering the work location.
- Indicating the “Danger” near the vac truck when dewatering, daylighting, potholing, etc., are in progress. This becomes more important when work is being done in places where open and energized wires pass. The appropriate location of these signs is within 3 meters (10 feet) of the truck.
- Beware of overhead wires
Safe movement distances should be monitored during equipment working, when the boom is used, and when the equipment is repositioned. It is especially important when the overhead wires are passing through the working site.
Some specialized hydrovac trucks offer boom sensors that leave the boom far away from electrical wires passing over.
- Use proper equipment
It is needless to say that hydrovacing is a technical job, and specialized methods can ensure maximum success. The use of the right tools for a project is not something that can be shrugged off. You need to ensure that the trucks, wands, vacuums, and nozzles are typically designed for hydrovac services. That will facilitate your employees to meet the deadlines without losing the target and putting their lives at risk.
Though hydrovac services are safer than the other excavation methods, risks to employees and the general public are still possible when things are handled unprofessionally. These risks include; possible damage from exposure to pressurized water, blunt injuries from high-speed objects, or electrical shocks from an exposed or already damaged electrical wire. It is very important to take appropriate measures to minimize the risks. This can be done by assessing site conditions, identifying the potential risks, and implementing a comprehensive plan before commencing your hydrovacing project.