SGN manage the network that distributes natural and green gas to 5.9 million customers across the south of England and in Scotland. They own and operate 74,000km of gas mains, including high-pressure (HP) pipelines, which are a critical part of national infrastructure. As these pipelines run underground across the country's length and breadth, it’s inevitable that, at times, work will need to be carried out near them.
The most common cause of incidents involving SGN's gas network is damage caused by others. This can happen whenever land within the proximity of there pipelines is disturbed. Not only is damaging a pipeline illegal, but the consequences can be catastrophic. That’s why SGN have created a free online course, available to anyone who may be involved with working near pipelines, no matter where you are in the country.
SGN Maintenance Manager Kevin Feeney said: “Before the pandemic, we delivered face-to-face training. We needed to find a new way of delivering the training which is easily accessible.
“This short 10-15-minute eLearning course, complete with videos and quizzes, is available for anyone who needs our help to work safely near gas pipelines. It describes how and when to contact us for our support and will keep you safe while reducing the risk of damage to our gas network.
“This training has been shaped and developed using input from our partners LinesearchbeforeUdig (LSBUD), the Scottish Agriculture Colleges, Falkirk Council and East Lothian Council.”
Free online service
LSBUD is a free online service that allows anyone to check locations of underground and overhead utilities. Richard Broome, its Managing Director, said: “We’re very supportive of this excellent resource that SGN has put together. It provides a clear and concise summary for those working near its network on how to work safely and avoid damage to SGN’s assets.
“At LSBUD we’re proud to be able to play our part in that process, where anyone putting a spade in the ground can access SGN’s asset maps to help them work safely. The agricultural sector is regrettably one of the most dangerous sectors in the UK and we’re determined to work together with SGN to help anyone working the length and breadth of the country do so safely and without risking damage to the vast network of pipes and cables.”
Before starting work
Always get in touch with the gas provider before starting any work near high-pressure gas pipelines to avoid injury, or even death, to yourself and others. Damages to pipelines can also lead to a disruption to gas supplies, claims for costs to repair the damage, HSE investigations and environmental issues.
Some gas network providers will:
- visit free of charge to help you plan your work
- confirm and mark the location of any pipelines, and
- advise what work is permitted.