That’s the number of people that work with concrete everyday throughout the United States.
Of those 250,000 people, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA reports that 28,000 – over 10 % - are injured each and every year while doing their jobs.
Out of these 28,000 workers, several are threatened with injury and even death every year by improper practices when cutting, coring, or drilling through concrete. To help prevent these incidents from occurring, educating your team on the best practices for working with cured concrete on jobsites will help keep people safe.
Risks of Cutting, Coring, or Drilling Concrete Without Proper Protection
There are several risks for you and your team when you cut, core, or drill through concrete. One of the main threats when core drilling or saw cutting is the potential to damage existing structural components within the concrete slab. It is crucial that the accurate location of all structural reinforcements and utilities are marked out on the surface of the slab prior to engaging in work so that you can avoid damages on your jobsite such as those listed below.
1. Structural damages to existing structural components such as rebar, post tension, or conduit within the concrete.
2. Electrical shock, electrocution and power outages through damaging underground electric ducts embedded within the concrete slab or wall.
3. Flooding and property damage through cutting water lines imbedded within concrete.
Why Locating Structural Reinforcements and Utilities Matter
Damages to structural reinforcements or underground utilities on your jobsite can cause major headaches between project downtime, injuries, and cost of repair. Not only will this directly impact your bottom line by thousands of dollars per strike, but your reputation within the industry may also take a hit, leading to lost opportunities down the road.
The cost to repair damaged lines alone is cause to look into safer practices before core drilling or saw cutting on your jobsites. Each time an individual conduit or piece of rebar is cut, the total cost to repair damages is $12,000. Add to that the cost of repairing damaged post-tension cables of $20,000 or more per strike, and the numbers start to add up quickly.
In addition, the average cost of an underground utility strike of a water line, or electrical duct when accounting for project downtime, repairs, and other damages resulting from the hit is $56,000 according to research for GPRS in 2021 by Finch Brands. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Indirect costs if your team member is injured or killed due to improper safety precautions, such as not marking for utilities or structural reinforcement before they cut, core, or drill, can results in bills adding up to over $1.3 million for your business.
How Precision Concrete Scanning with GPRS Can Help
Concrete Scanning, or concrete imaging, is crucial to ensuring a safe jobsite prior to completing a core, cut, or drill on any concrete slab. The main technique employed in this process is through the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology. This method is a non-destructive detection technique that revolves around the transmission of a radio signal into the concrete, followed by the analysis of the "bounce" that occurs when that signal encounters different materials within the concrete structure such as rebar, post tension, conduit, or beam. The interpretation of this feedback by a skilled GPR technician such as those at GPRS helps lead to accurately identifying the different type of materials within the slab as shown in the image below.
While access to GPR technology is widely available in today’s world, it is important to note that it should not be used without proper training. At GPRS we ensure our Project Managers go above and beyond the industry standard when learning to concrete scan and locate underground utilities. We do this because we want to ensure your teams are protected from the risks posed when concrete coring or concrete drilling.
Every one of our 500 Project Managers is certified in the industry’s leading methodology and training for concrete scanning and utility locating professionals, Subsurface Investigative Methodology (SIM). This standard pairs industry-best training with multiple forms of cutting-edge technology, and a repeatable methodology to ensure that when one of our Project Managers marks out critical reinforcement on your jobsites before your core, cut, or drill, it’s done with the same 99.8+% accuracy as the other 500,000 projects we’ve completed nationwide.
This industry-leading standard is of the crucial because without proper training, technology, and a repeatable methodology, data can be mistakenly interpreted and marked incorrectly, resulting in further damages.
To avoid these expensive, and dangerous incidents from occurring on your jobsites and to simplify communication in our markings, GPRS developed an easy-to-understand verification plan to help ensure safe coring, drilling, or cutting anytime you call our team out to mark for underground utilities or scan for concrete reinforcements on your jobsite. It’s called the Green Box Guarantee.
What’s the Green Box Guarantee?
The Green Box Guarantee is our promise to you, our customer, that if we place a green box marked “CLEAR” within the layout of our markings prior to you core drilling or saw cutting through concrete, we guarantee that the area will be free of obstructions. If we’re wrong, we’ll pay the material cost of the damages.
We are extremely confident in our SIM certified Project Managers, and you can be too with our 99.8+ % accuracy rating on over 500,000 utility locating and concrete scanning jobs. As seen in the images below, our accuracy is backed by the proof in our customers core drills.
This Green Box Guarantee helps you when coring, drilling, or sawing through concrete in five key ways:
1. Safety: Prevent potential life-threatening damages and injuries from electrical conduit strikes, cutting through post tension lines, or damaging rebar on site.
2. Efficiency: Prevents project delays and downtime because GPRS Project Managers can accurately locate dozens of structural reinforcements within concrete slabs per day, ensuring you can steer clear of obstructions and complete demolition on schedule.
3. Cost savings: Prevents expensive repairs and unexpected change orders that could otherwise cost you thousands of dollars per strike and add weeks to months to your project timeline.
4. Clear communication: Markings are easy to understand and located directly on the coring location.
5. Confidence: 99.8+% accuracy on over 500,000 jobs provides peace of mind to you and your team while industry leading GPRS Project Managers provide a consultative approach to your project through performing a post job walkthrough to explain all Green Box Guarantee locations and parameters. Remember…Green means go.
When cutting, coring, or drilling through concrete there are always inherent risks involved. Eliminate the risk of hitting post tension, rebar, electrical conduit, or water lines with 99.8+% confidence by contacting GPRS, today.
Interested in learning even more about how to prevent damage resulting from concrete sawing, cutting, or drilling on your jobsite? Sign you team up the week of January 29 – February for a complimentary Concrete Sawing and Drilling Safety Week 2024 Presentation, where GPRS safety experts will equip construction workers from all around the country with industry leading strategies and knowledge on how to prevent risks associated with concrete saw cutting, coring, or drilling through concrete. Your team will be provided free breakfast or lunch compliments of the GPRS team, and participants will learn to develop individual safety plans to help keep your job sites, and people, safe.