When contractors are undertaking any sort of work that involves penetrating the ground there is the ever-present risk of striking an underground utility. This could be electricity, gas, water, telecoms, fibre optics, and more. The Health and Safety Executive produces a pdf entitled “Avoiding Danger From

Underground Services” (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg47.pdf) which states: “Underground services are widespread. Assume they are present unless you have been shown otherwise.”

Striking an underground utility can result in a number of problems. At the very least the contractor has to stop work until it has been repaired. The company will also have to pay for the cost of the repair, and there may be considerable collateral damage when the lack of the utility impacts on others. Costs can be such that it puts the contractor out of business. Even if this should not occur, the contractor’s reputation will suffer damage.

Then there is the health and safety aspect. There are estimated to be some 60,000 cable strikes every year in the UK, resulting in many serious injuries.

It follows that cable avoidance must be an absolute priority for any contractor and there are several tools available to help with this. Two of these are the CAT and Genny – Cable Avoidance Tool and Signal Generator. However, it is not sufficient to purchase these and simply read the instructions.  CAT and Genny training is critical in order for operatives to fully understand how to use these tools in order to ensure that utilities are located and avoided.

Sygma Solutions is the leading provider of this training in the UK and runs a CAT and Genny course that teaches operatives every aspect of both tools.

These courses are both classroom based and followed with practical on-site training. Operatives learn the reasons for using buried pipe and cable locators and the health and safety implications including compliance with HSG47. They will learn how to use STATS – buried service plans – and learn electromagnetic theory and how the tools work. They will learn how to use the CAT and Genny in all the various modes and check the equipment is working properly. They will learn how to interpret the signals and how to locate service joints, changes of direction, and depth.

The classroom work is followed up with practical work on site in the use of both tools, and then a return to the classroom for a written assessment for which the pass mark is 70%.

Courses Availability

Public Cat & Genny Training can also include Proqual Level 2 if requested

15th February,  22nd March,  26th April,

24th May,  21st June,  26th July

Sygma PAS 128 Utility Surveyor Training Including Proqual Level 3 Utility Mapping and Surveying

18th February,  25th March,  29th April

20th May,  24th June,  22nd July

19th August,  23rd September,  21st October

18th November,  09th December

2 Day Electromagnetic Advanced Locator Course Covering RD8000/RD8100 & Vivax Vloc

27th & 28th February

3 Day Learn GPR Training with Dan Bigman

06th – 08th March

Please contact: enquiries@sygma-solutions.com for current availability and booking form


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