Excavation safetyaround natural gas

Table of contentsYou could damage much more than a gas line3Your responsibilities4Guidelines for locating and hand digging4Safety laws and regulations6Line location assistance7Obtaining a FortisBC gas line permit8-9Emergency repairs9Emergency checklist11Steps for safe digging1. Click on or call BC One Call at1-800-474-6886 or *6886 on the TELUS or Rogersmobile network to request all gas line locationrecords. This is a requirement of FortisBC andprovincial gas safety regulations. You should receivethis information in about two business days.2. Have gas line information on site duringthe excavation. If you need help understandingthis information, call our Public UndergroundLocation Services at 1-888-822-6555.You could damage much morethan a gas lineExcavating is serious business. That’s why it’s criticalto take due care.Knowing where natural gas lines are located beforeyou start excavating is the first step to ensure safetyon the job. Do this by calling or clicking BC One Callto request free underground gas line information.Once you’ve received maps, you must ensure a safework site by hand digging to expose the gas linebefore using mechanical equipment.Hitting a line not only threatens the safety of thepublic and your workers, but can also impact theenvironment and cost you money. So take thenecessary precautions, play it safe and call or clickbefore you dig.BC One CallClick: online requests: bconecall.caToll free: 1-800-474-6886Cell: *6886 (on TELUS or Rogers mobility networks)3. Use the gas line information to locate and marklines with paint or stakes and maintain themuntil digging is underway.4. Hand dig first to expose gas lines before usingmechanical equipment.23

Your responsibilitiesWhether you’re digging up a major intersection orinstalling fence posts, B.C. regulations require youto take three steps before you start digging:1. Click or call BC One Call and request line locationinformation. The call is free.2. Use the information provided to mark the locationof buried gas lines.3. Hand dig to expose the gas line.You may: use an electronic pipe locator to confirm theapproximate location of the gas line use mechanical equipment only to remove surfacecover. You must hand expose the gas line withinthe no mechanical dig zone in a sufficient numberof locations to determine the exact positions anddepths of the installation before further use ofmechanical excavation equipment. (see FIG. 1) use hydrovac excavation equipment withinthe boundary limitGuidelines for locatingand hand diggingBefore beginning any excavation or boring, you mustlocate the buried gas line and hand dig to exposethe line. Technical Safety BC has approved theseguidelines for locating and hand digging.You must: have gas line information on site identify the location of the gas line and markthe line with paint or stakes until diggingis underway hand dig to expose the gas line if your excavation iswithin 1 m either side of the indicated location ofthe gas line.Sluff dirt into hole foreasy removal by excavator1m1mNo mechanized dig zoneFIG. 1 - Hand digging for a gas line45

Do not use mechanical equipment withinthe no mechanized dig zone until the gasline has been hand exposed.When exposing buried gas lines, the “no mechanizeddig zone” refers to the area equal to the diameter of thegas pipe, plus one metre on either side of the gas line’sindicated location extending upwards to the surface.Hand dig within “the zone” to expose the pipe usingmanual equipment and tools. Mechanized equipmentshould only be used to break the surface.Safety laws and regulationsWorkSafeBC and Technical Safety BC require you toobtain buried gas line location information and handdig to expose the lines.For specific information about regulations that governexcavating or working near pipelines in B.C., contact:Technical Safety BCSafety Standards Act and Gas Safety al Health and Safety Regulationworksafebc.comBC Oil and Gas CommissionOil and Gas Activities Act and Regulationsbcogc.ca6Line location assistanceYou are responsible for contacting BC One Call andrequesting line location information. However, FortisBCwill provide on-site locates on gas lines and temporarysurface marking or staking when: detailed records are not available the information on the plans or listing of facilitylocations is unclear or the gas installation is notwhere FortisBC records indicate there is an emergency repair of another utility inprogress (e.g. damaged water main or sewer) the excavator has been unsuccessful in locating ourgas line or service by hand the planned excavation is within 10 m of anintermediate pressure pipeline or is within 30 mof the edge of a transmission pressure pipelineoperating above 100 psi (700 kPa). (See the sectionon obtaining a FortisBC permit on the next page.)All requests for location information must besubmitted through BC One Call online or at 1-800-474-6866, *6886 on aTELUS or Rogers cell phone at least two business daysbefore the scheduled start of an excavation.If your project is delayed and your excavation workhas not started within 10 days of receiving gas lineinformation from FortisBC, you must verify the locationinformation through BC One Call before beginning work.7

Obtaining a FortisBC gas line permitYou must have: written permission from FortisBC when workingwithin 30 m of a pipeline operating above100 psi (700 kPa) a permit from FortisBC when working:Local callsToll freeEmailWeb604-576-7021 (in the Lower 10 m of a transmission pressure pipelineEmergency repairs-within 2 m of an intermediate pressure pipeline-within a FortisBC statutory right of wayIf you’re conducting an emergency repair to anotherutility — for example, a damaged water main or sewerline— and require gas line location information fromFortisBC, contact BC One Call at 1-800-474-6886 andFortisBC will be notified immediately.If you’re working within 10 m of BC Oil and GasCommission regulated lines, FortisBC must performthe locate.8For permit applicationsand more information9

Emergency checklistIf gas is escaping from a ruptured line:FF Shut off machinery and all sources of ignition.FF Evacuate— move people upwind if possible—keep cars and bystanders away from area.FF Call the FortisBC natural gas emergency lineimmediately at 1-800-663-9911.FF Don’t attempt repairs or operateunderground gas valves.FF Call 911 or the fire department.FF Warn people in nearby buildings where gasmight enter through drains, etc.FF Evacuate the building, as well as neighbouringbuildings if gas is thought to be entering.Remember:Contractors are responsible for notifyingFortisBC and WorkSafeBC of damage togas lines. FortisBC may seek to recoverall associated costs from any person ororganization who damages a FortisBCunderground utility.10If a pipe has been struck, jarred or pulled, orthe tracer-wire, protective wrapping or the pipesurface has been damaged:FF Stop all work and call FortisBC.FF Check for the smell or sound of escapinggas in the area.FF Do not backfill. FortisBC must physicallycheck the integrity of the piping system andrepair any damage.11

BC One Call online: bconecall.caBC One Call toll free: 1-800-474-6886On TELUS or Rogers mobile network: *6886Natural gas emergencies (24 hours):1-800-663-9911Permit Desk: 1-877-599-0996Public Underground Location Services:1-888-822-6555FortisBC acknowledges the assistance andco-operation of Technical Safety BC.FortisBC Energy Inc. does business as FortisBC. The company is an indirect, whollyowned subsidiary of Fortis Inc. FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under licensefrom Fortis Inc. The Energy at work FortisBC logo and design is a trademark of FortisBCEnergy Inc.(18-001.31 11/2018)

1-800-474-6886 or *6886 on the TELUS or Rogers mobile network to request all gas line location records. This is a requirement of FortisBC and provincial gas safety regulations. You should receive this information in about two business days. 2. Have gas line information on site during the excavation. If you need help understanding