Contractor Safety and Natural Gas

There are many safety hazards confronting contractors and construction workers who must work in the vicinity of natural gas lines, transmission pipelines, compressor stations, storage wells and other facilities. These hazards can be avoided by applying some basic safety principles and using common sense.

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Reduce the risk or damages and injury by following these safety tips:

  • Always "Call Before You Dig." The most common cause of pipeline damage and failures is mechanical damage by excavating or demolition.
  • Watch for pipeline signs or markers. These markers identify the general area where natural gas pipelines run and show the name and phone number of the related company. Markers generally indicate the general, but not precise, location of a pipeline and don’t indicate the depth of line burial, so always call before you dig.
  • Be observant for leaks. Although leaks on natural gas pipelines are rare, be observant for dirt or water being ejected in the air, dead or dying vegetation (in an otherwise normal area) over or near pipeline areas, flames coming from the ground or appearing to burn just above the ground, a roaring, blowing or hissing sound near a pipeline, or a distinct odor of natural gas.
  • If a pipeline is damaged or you suspect there may be a natural gas leak, immediately switch off and leave any motorized equipment being used, get away from the immediate area, and call the utility company or fire department (911).

Learn more about natural gas, pipelines and safety by reviewing our Pipeline Integrity Management Program.

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