Step 1 Carry out a full visual 360 degree survey of the site

1.1 Look for illuminated street furniture/ poster display boards/ bus stop including those with electronic timetable displays, traffic lights, BT cabinets, CCTV poles and boxes, London bike docking stations, customer's own electrically powered devices such as electric gates, lights and external power supplies, etc.

If it's man made its more than likely to have a power source.
Which items have you found


Step 2 Carry out a full Cable Location of the work area. Using all attachments.

2.1 Carry out a full sweep of the area using the cable locator in all modes. Using the cable locator & transmitter in direct and indirect mode etc.

2.2 Use 3 pin plug-in adaptor to trace service cables etc.

2.3 Use the Lamp column magnet (This can also be used on other metallic street furniture).

2.4 Ensure you cable locate throughout the work area.

2.5 if plant located does not correspond with the plans - STOP- and consult your supervisor.


What did you find in power mode

What did you find in radio mode

What did you find In cable locator and transmitter (placement) mode

What did you find in direct (clip/magnet/clamp/plug in) indirect/induction/nulling-out

What did you find in all scan


Step 3 Mark up all located plant

3.1 Mark up all located plant throughout the excavation/ bar hole area, ensuring that any markings will not be covered/ remove once excavation starts.

3.2 Mark up the safe dig area maintaining the 500mm & 230mm rule. This is your safe dig area.

3.3 If the 500mm or 230mm rule can not be achieved - STOP - consult your supervisor to agree a safe way forward. The agreed safe system of work shall be noted in stage 3.
Photographs showing marked up services


Step 4 Consult all available plans.

4.1 Check all GAS plans for main location/ pressure etc.

4.2 Check all cable plans.

4.3 Where High Voltage (HV) cables are known or suspected to be present use the checklist supplied.

4.4 When moling use pre moling checklist T/PR/SL/1 Apendix J.

4.5 For planned works you shall consult other utility drawing, e.g telecom water.

Gas: diameter in path

Gas: pressure in path

Gas: diameter in road

Gas: pressure in road

Gas: diameter in verge

Gas: pressure in verge

Gas: diameter in private

Gas: pressure in private




Have service cables been found

Substation nearby



no label

no label
Step 1 Remove the wearing/ base course. T/PR/SW1.1 Appendix A e.g Asphalt, Tarmac, block pavement,Grass etc.


1.2 Remove wearing course outside of the 500mm excavation start line - Remember if the 500mm or 230mm rule could not be achieved follow the agreed safe system of work agreed with your supervisor and noted in stage 3 below.

1.3 Remember no power tools shall be used directly over or within 500mm of the marked position of any identified or suspected buried plant/ utility unless the cable /plant has already been exposed by digging under the surface to be broken out.

Do you need to dig within 500mm of a cable?

Have you referred to supervisor

Time and date

Supervisors name

Comments box

Removing sub-base. T/PR/SW/1, Section 2.2 & section 8

2.1 once the wearing course has been removed - The air pick shall be first option to loosen the ground. You must try the Air knife/Pick/Lance. If ground conditions do not allow effective operation of the air knife/pick/lance only then should conventional hand digging tools be used with extreme caution.

2.2 Using the air knife/pick/lance break-up and carefully remove the ground in 100mm layers.

2.3 Removing spoil carefully with shovel taking care not to come into contact with plant.

2.4 Keep retesting with cable locator in all modes every 300mm - in the excavation area subject to atmosphere testing.

2.5 Repeat until all plant has been found and all excavation has been completed.

2.6 If plant is suspected or found to be buried in concrete or if you need to encroach the 500mm rule -STOP - consult your supervisor to agree a safe system of work before proceeding e.g seek isolation, redesign route or work method; record in stage 3 below.

Is the ground suitable for an air knife/ pick/ lance

Is the ground suitable for vacuum extraction

Ground suitable after 1st 300mm?

Ground suitable for the last 100mm either side of the cable


Stage 3 Remember as the job progresses you need to "stop, take a minute" to think through any new hazards/ risks that you may find during the excavation.

If you need to alter your dig plan from stage 1 or agree a "safe system of work" with your supervisor then record it here ( remember to use FaceTime on your iPhone if appropriate):

Site sketch

Comments box

Supervisor signature
Team mate signature
Team mate signature
Team leader signature
Please note that this checklist is a hypothetical example and provides basic information only. It is not intended to take the place of, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice; medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment; or other applicable laws. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklist is permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.