There’s no such thing as minor damage to utilities.
What looks like a small nick in a gas, sewer, electric or water line can result in a major health and fire hazard to the surrounding neighborhood. And damaged phone lines or fiber optic cables can disrupt 911 emergency service.
Never bury a damaged utility.
Trying to cover up an accident can be dangerous, and can lead to costly damages or criminal charges against you and your company. Take the following steps instead.
In case of electrical contact:
- Remain on the equipment.
- Tell others to stay away.
- Have someone call 911 and the local utility immediately.
- If fire or other imminent danger forces you off:
- Do not touch the equipment and the ground at the same time.
- Jump clear, and land with your feet together.
- Take very short hops, keeping feet together and making contact with the ground at the same time.
If you suspect a gas leak or if you contact a gas pipeline, take these steps:
- Leave the area immediately and go to a safe place where you can call your local utility.
- Extinguish open flames. Do not use matches or lighters. Do not attempt to light an appliance.
- Do not use any phones, electric switches, thermostats or appliance controls.
- Do not start or turn off vehicles or motorized equipment. Abandon any motorized equipment. Do not attempt to find the source of the leak or to repair a leak.
If you accidentally contact a gas line, immediately call 911 and the local natural gas utility.
In the event of any type of utility contact, take appropriate safety steps and notify your supervisor and the utility immediately.