How To Avoid The Dangers Of Digging

man drilling with a little beaver

Digging into the earth, no matter what machine or tool you are using, has the potential for risk. Hidden beneath the surface is an array of different threats that have the possibility of causing harm to your machine, your property, or, even worse, yourself. Some of these different threats include, but and not limited to, gas lines, sewer pipes, electrical wires, and dense rock layers.

Due to all these lurking dangers, it is important to dig responsibly and take all the necessary precautions needed to get the job completed safely and effectively. Below we have laid out some of the important steps you should take to prevent damage as well as injury while digging.

Choose a Safe Drill

The first step in ensuring your drilling is done safely is to choose the proper equipment. It does not matter if your drill is small, large, hydraulic, mechanical, single, or two-person operated; there are certain safety features you should look for to guarantee it is safe to use.

The most important safety feature to look for on a drill is a torque bar. This tube helps to ground your drill while in use so that you do not experience to impact of the auger hitting dense soil or even rocks. This tube achieves this by distributing the power of the drill evenly between the motor and the handlebars. Older models that did not have this feature would transfer the brunt of this instability directly to the user, and when the drill would strike rough material or other hidden items within the soil, the user had the potential of being thrown from the machine.

Call 811

As mentioned above, lurking underground is a labyrinth of utility pipes, wires, and lines that have the potential to cause serious harm. Running into these lines while drilling can affect utility services to your surrounding area, resulting in expensive repairs and causing serious injury. The most dangerous of these are electrical and gas lines which, if struck, could burn, electrocute, or even kill the person operating the machine. That is why it is important to call 811, the national diggers hotline, before drilling. By calling this number, all utility services should respond and come out to mark the approximate locations where the lines are placed underground so they can be avoided. It is recommended that you call 36 to 48 hours before your planned dig to give each service the opportunity to respond to the request.

811 also has a highly informative website that provides safety details related to each state as well as information for both professionals and homeowners who are digging.

Follow Safe Drilling Etiquette

These are just some of the safety measures you should take while using your drill. For a more detailed list, please refer to your drill’s safety instructions in the operator manual

  • Wear closed-toe shoes and form-fitting clothing
  • Wear safety goggles or other protective eyewear
  • NEVER remove the auger from the hole while still rotating
  • Do not use a damaged auger
  • Those not using the drill should be at least 10 feet away during use
  • Do not operate the auger at less than full throttle
  • Be sure the engine is completely turned off when adjusting, cleaning, or moving it

For more information about your drill and other safety questions, please get in touch with one of our helpful sales representatives.

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