Stump grinding, while a necessary task for landowners and landscapers, comes with significant risks when performed near underground utilities. Accidental disruption to these services can lead to costly repairs, service disruptions, and worker safety hazards. The state government and individual utility companies highly regulate undercover utility work. Here are some safety practices that can minimize the risk of injury while working near underground facilities.
1. Identify and Mark Utility Lines
Placing a warning marker at the edge of a utility line is essential for minimizing the risk of injury to any worker nearby. The utility company usually has specific requirements for placing markers, and it is essential to consider these guidelines and list them as part of your safety plan. The critical thing to remember is that any safety sign or marker providing information about the presence of a utility line must be placed in an area where it will be easily visible during excavation activities.
2. Maintain a Safe Distance
Always maintain a safe distance from marked utility lines when performing stump grinding. The distance may vary depending on the utility and task you are performing. This practice will protect utility lines from accidental damage and help to ensure worker safety.
3. Provide Adequate Support
It is essential to provide adequate support for the stump grinder operator. You may have to make several passes near a utility line when performing this type of work. In this situation, you must provide support against the ground when making these passes. This will reduce the risk of damaging underground pipes and help to ensure the safety of your workers.
4. Use the Right Equipment
The right equipment is essential to minimizing the risk of injury in this type of work. The stump grinder operator should use a proper tool appropriate for the task. This tool should meet all safety standards set by the utility it uses near. Ensuring this tool has a chain guard to protect workers from contact with underground utility lines is also essential.
5. Hire Trained Professionals
Hiring professionals to perform the job of stump grinding is an option that should be considered. This will minimize the risk of worker injury, reduce the amount of tree removal required, and ensure a clean job. A trained professional can monitor the work to help ensure safety and prevent accidents.
6. Follow Precautions on Your Property
Stump grinding can leave contaminants in the area of the stump. It is essential to follow any precautions set forth by your utility company before beginning any tree removal work near an underground line. Using the right equipment and maintaining a safe distance will help to minimize the risk of injury while working with stump grinding equipment.
7. Practice Emergency Procedures
Accidents can happen at any time and can be difficult to predict. The stump grinder operator should always have an emergency phone number where they can be reached in case of an accident. This number should be known to all workers on the property and posted near the work area.
Stump grinding near underground utilities is a delicate task requiring attention, caution, and skill. Knowing the risks associated with stump grinding activities near underground utilities is essential. With the right equipment and by following safety procedures, you can reduce the risk of injury to workers and minimize disruptions to underground utilities. If you need help with stump grinding in Peoria, IL, contact Central Arbor Tree Care to schedule an appointment with our tree care professionals.