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A Quick Guide to Directional Drilling Safety

Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is an underground technique for installing pipes and cables. HDD often takes place in zones that are too hazardous for vertical excavations. These can include urban areas, industrial locations, and even under roads and railways.

Common horizontal drilling accidents include drilling into utility lines and equipment-related injuries. The best way for operatives to avoid such occurrences is to follow drilling safety rules.

Keep reading to learn more about how to stay safe on a directional drilling project.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment

Wearing the right personal protective equipment (PPE) is a must for everyone on a directional drilling job site.

Appropriate PPE items include:

  • Hard hat
  • Ear protection
  • Protective goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Insulated safety boots with steel, aluminum, or composite toe
  • High-visibility vests. These are compulsory for job sites near roads and high-traffic areas. But high-vis vests can offer good visual confirmation of safe worker positioning on all HDD sites

As well as PPE, safety tips stress the importance of avoiding jewelry, watches, and untied hair. With so many moving parts, it’s easy for equipment to catch on these and cause serious injuries.

Keep a Safe Distance

The best tools from pilottrackhdd.com can make for a smooth HDD operation. But workers must stay on the ground and keep a safe distance when connecting the equipment.

Directional drilling job site safety recommendations vary depending on the material pulled through. As a rule, operatives should be far enough away to avoid moving equipment–such as the drill rod–hitting them once the process begins.

Practice Clear Communication

To avoid underground utilities, HDD operations rely on clear communication between teams. As outlined in HDD handbooks, drilling crews must stay in constant contact with equipment locator teams.

Short, direct commands confirmed by the receiver using specific, pre-arranged language help ensure that no one is in danger. This often involves using a two-way radio. Keeping each other in sight and using hand signals can offer added clarity.

Perform Relevant Safety Checks

Working according to HDD safety rules means nothing if the site itself isn’t safe. Operatives must perform thorough site and equipment checks before any work can begin.

Vital steps include conducting a walk-around inspection. This is when operatives will check fluids and note any items that need maintenance or repair. During this inspection, they should remove any clutter from the cab as this can prevent a safe operation.

Operatives must also verify that the tracking equipment is accurate. And before starting the machine, workers need to double-check that the controls are in their proper settings.

A Quick Guide to Directional Drilling Safety

Accidents related to directional drilling operations can be devastating and even fatal. But they’re also avoidable.

Horizontal directional drilling guidelines are strict for a reason. And, as this guide shows, following the rules makes it easier to keep a directional drilling job site safe and efficient.

Want more insights and tips like this? Check out our other blog posts for all the latest on everything from erasing diabetes symptoms to understanding weather apps.

Christine Tomas
Christine Tomas
Christine Tomas is a tech expert, consultant, and aspiring writer. She writes for different news portals and thematic blogs for tech experts that helps her stay at the heart of programming, technology news.


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