Underground services - peat restoration
FISA are receiving a number of enquiries regarding peat restoration projects and the highlighting of underground services. Some appear to be at the tendering stage.
The Landowner and FWM must carry out their responsibilities in identifying hazards on the site and in all case this must be passed on including in any tender documents.
Generally, peat restoration, “forest to bog,” operations are not dissimilar to other forestry ground preparation operations and to be carried out by the same contractors.
The process is to risk assess the work with the likelihood and consequences of contacting buried services. Buried services can be anything from high pressure gas pipelines to renewable energy export or communications cables.
Guidance is to obtain any information on these well in advance, but understand the limit of buried service plans, they are only a guide and may not be accurate or complete. You remain responsible for confirming the services’ exact location.
Check for surface indicators, marker posts, manhole covers, service boxes etc. or where overhead cables terminate and become underground cables.
Using a detecting device, mark the location of any services within the work area which may present a hazard or be affected by the work activities.
Operators must be briefed on the location of any services, how they are identified on the ground and how they are protected including exclusion zones and protected crossing points. This process is usually undertaken on a “Permit to Work” or “Permit to dig”
FISA Electricity and Utilities Working Group will undertake to provide more forestry-oriented information which will centre around the current HSG47 Avoiding danger from underground services.