Sarawak Energy Urges Contractors to ‘Call Before You Dig’ to Avoid Damaging Underground Cables

Sarawak Energy Provides Free Underground Cable Tracing Services

KUCHING, 15 November 2019, FRIDAY – Contractors are urged to call Sarawak Energy before commencing any excavation works to avoid damaging underground electricity cables and disrupting power supply to customers.

Sarawak Energy’s technical teams in various locations across the state have proactively engaged with the contractors and briefed them on the safety requirements when working near electrical facilities.

Contractors can contact Sarawak Energy’s 24/7 Customer Call Centre at 1300- 88-3111 or email to notify on works near electrical infrastructures or seek assistance to trace and mark the buried underground cable routes on site. This service is provided free by the utility.

Sarawak Energy has been actively raising public awareness on the risks of damaging underground cables through advertorials in local dailies, social media and on-site engagements.

Despite these efforts, many contractors still ignore the advice and did not engage with Sarawak Energy for cable tracing prior to excavation. This often results in unnecessary power outages and endangering the safety of the excavator operator. Customers might have to stay in the dark for long hours due to the lengthy time needed to repair the damaged cables.

Since 2018, there are about 300 cases of damaged underground cables caused by third party contractor negligence, costing the utility approximately RM2.2 million. This year alone, around 150 cases of cable damages were recorded with damages costing Sarawak Energy nearly RM830,000. These incidents can be avoided if the contractors work closely with Sarawak Energy’s technical team. This close cooperation with the utility company also ensures the safety and health of those involved in these works.

Contractors are reminded to comply with the Electricity Ordinance, the Electricity Rules 1999 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 when working near electrical facilities.

They must observe the basic safety guideline which is to keep at least 15 feet or five meters away from these electrical facilities.

Contractors are welcome to contact Sarawak Energy for technical clarification before starting excavation works.