Kodiak Drilling – Feature Article
Why does Kodiak insist on having private locates done at most houses? That question can best be addressed by relaying the stories told within a recent TSSA press release related to deaths and injuries at two homes.
“On July 30, 2008, a residential explosion in Niagara Falls killed one occupant and injured another when a landscaper drove a bar into the ground, installing a “rail tie” wall. The bar punctured a propane service line, running from the home to a pool heater, and the escaping gas migrated to the residence. The gas built up to an explosive level, and found a source of ignition.”
The story is discussed in two press reports below:
A portion of the second press story is below:
While investigators have determined a cause, there are many unanswered questions. The most significant being why the landscaping crew didn’t call someone to locate the service lines before they started hammering rebar into the ground. “It’s up to the contractor to call in before digging.” (Brian Biggins – Niagara Falls Fire Department) Contractors are obligated to call a organization known as ‘Ontario One Call’ before they put anything into the ground. “They do all the ground locates for all services.”
Unfortunately this is somewhat misleading, as the propane lines were owned by the homeowner and therefore the locators dispatched by Ontario-One-Call member utilities would not have located this propane line. Only a private locator would have prevented this tragedy.
The second incident occurred in September 2008; a man was killed while his wife was injured in an explosion in their home in East Linton Ontario. The story is described in the following press article:
A key quote from the article: “…..the excavator, is also charged with failing to ask the owner to locate and mark his services. That company is charged as well with failing to protect the worker by ensuring that person knew the propane line was there”.
This highlights the potential liability of Kodiak Drilling and our client consultants for not having the owner provide the information about private services. Providing that information is normally done by contracting a private locator to review the property. This liability pales in comparison to the tragedy of an injury or death of a driller, consultant, or homeowner.
In nearly all cases, in addition to Ontario-One-Call, a private locator should be contracted for a residential project. Private services can include pool heater and water lines, communications lines for TV towers or satellite dishes, electrical lines for landscaping or pool lights, electrical cables or water lines leading to sheds or detached garages, BBQ or gas fire pit lines, and infra-red heater lines, among others. Relying on a home owners memory of where they “think” the lines are located is not a suitable alternative to proper locates, from either a legal or safety perspective. If a Kodiak driller observes any services such as those above, their pre-drill safety inspection process prevents them from undertaking any drilling. Our benefits plan does not cover funerals !
Kodiak Drilling specializes in drilling in limited access areas and therefore completes projects at private residences on a regular basis. Our drills are particularly well suited to providing minimal disturbance to front lawns and accessing backyards by traversing walkways, driveways, steps, fences and gates. Many of these projects relate to geotechnical investigations for foundation and footing designs, slope stability studies, retaining wall designs, and home additions. Other projects are for environmental consultants conducting assessments at homes related primarily to heating oil contamination problems or issues of offsite migration of contaminants from a neighbouring property.
The full press release can be viewed at the TSSA website; October 16, 2008, Reference No. FS-140-08.