How to stay safe while performing horizontal directional drilling

Horizontal directional drilling is a dangerous procedure that requires utmost care and precaution in order to be performed correctly. It's possible to perform on your own if you have the experience, the proper tools, and an equally experienced helper. However, the most important thing when attempting your own horizontal directional drilling is that you take all necessary precautions in order to stay safe. To do this properly, there are a few things you should think about.

Existing structures

You first need to establish where already existing structures are located under the ground. Pre-existing pipes and cables can cause huge amounts of trouble that can damage both you and the drill. Look at underground maps over the area to spot any existing structures. You should also consider hiring a ground scanner to be able to see for yourself what's in the ground and where it's located in order to plan your horizontal directional drilling. You should also think about this after you've started drilling as well. Dig around the drill to spot any material that is close to the drill that can reappear further down and make adjustments to angle the drill away from the existing structure.

Electrical interference

You also need to use a tracking device of the drill head while you're drilling to always be aware if you're in the danger zone of drilling into any existing structures or large rocks that can damage the drill and you. Just remember that tracking devices can malfunction due to electrical interference, and you should remove any such objects before you start drilling. Keep away from electrical animal fences or have them turned off if you're forced to work beside them. Also keep away from TV or radio transmitting devices or facilities, as these provide a powerful current that can disturb your tracking device. You should also avoid drilling when you can hear thunder or if you suspect that a thunderstorm is coming.

Safety clothing

You should also think about what you're wearing. You should always wear sturdy gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from material that can shoot up from the ground as you're drilling. However, the most important item of clothing to stay safe while drilling is your shoes. Wear thick boots with a rubber sole that can ground you and keep you from harm if you were to hit a power line or electric cable that will electrify the ground beneath your feet. For this reason, you should also avoid standing on your knees or have any other body parts touching the ground when you're drilling to avoid getting a shock. 

For more information, contact companies like Daley Directional Drilling.