Things You Need to Know About Utility Mapping

In the world of surveying, there is an endless way to describe a buried utility survey. From PAS 128, mapping survey, GPR (ground penetrating radar) survey, underground services surveys to location survey and detection, there are various types of surveys that a contractor or supervisor might have to undertake before beginning the excavation project. The common factor in all of this is the simple requirement of undertaking a survey of buried infrastructure with the use of GPR recording the position line and depth of known, live, unknown, metallic, abandoned and non-metallic utility services. It might sound easy, but carrying out such in-depth surveys is only possible after you have achieved Proqual level 3 utility mapping qualification.

The level 3 certificate in utility mapping and surveying is a requirement for those who are working in a surveying environment. For instance, technicians or trainee surveyors or those who are interested in entering the profession of surveying underground utility services. This training programme is provided by professional companies and usually covers topics related to the mapping and location of buried utilities. It includes regulations and guidelines related to the location of underground services, colour coding of buried services, drawings and reading maps, steps to carrying out surveys and how to create an accurate report.

Previously, contractors relied on site maps before digging up the ground. But, site maps are generally outdated and they do not provide accurate information of the buried services. There are so many instances where blindly following site maps led to injuries and accidents in the excavation site. Since the UK already witnesses about 60,000 strikes in a year, it should be your responsibility to decrease the number of strikes and create a safe working space for your workers. This can only happen if you have a level 3 utility mapping qualification and in-depth knowledge about how to use the various tools and equipment at your disposal. When a site has been surveyed by a qualified and experienced surveyor, the chances of cable strikes and resultant injury are less. Moreover, cable strikes can also lead to temporary disablement of services in surrounding buildings and homes that can result in the loss of your company and project delay. All of this can also be avoided.

The following are the key elements of a good survey and utility mapping.

 It is important to make sure that the staff is experienced and trained to carry out the survey and have the required qualifications to perform the survey. The minimum requirement to carry out a survey is Proqual level 3 certificate in utility mapping and surveying. However, note that this qualification does not make you a utility surveyor, but you will be eligible for Pas128 quality level D and quality level C. After which, you will be called a utility surveyor.

 Do the site walk and utilise the knowledge that you have gained in Proqual level 3 certification and perform a visual survey of the excavation area. Make sure to make the link between overhead lines, surface features, the records at hand, scars in the road and build up the survey in your head. After that, make use of the detection equipment for the accurate location of the buried services.

 Be very methodical when it comes to executing the survey and you must always be careful so that there is no cable strike or injury to your workers.

 Make use of all the available resources and tools to complete your survey

 Put in place a simple, yet effective marking system so that you and your workers are able to understand clearly and there is no room for errors.

So, if you are a contractor aspiring to be a utility surveyor, you need to earn the Proqual level 3 utility mapping qualification. There are some professional companies that allow you to complete this qualification online.

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