We hope to help you discover everything you need to know about Cable Avoidance Tool Training. Firstly what is a Cable Avoidance Tool or CAT and Genny as they are sometimes called. It is a utility detector and these clever machines are used to detect signals potentially being omitted from cables underground. Signals radiate naturally from metallic services and the CAT works in combination with a Genny to detect the unique signal. But they can have their limitations, which anyone using them must be aware of.

Cable Avoidance safety

So before you break ground its best to check, using the CAT and Genny, whether any underground services may potentially be in the way and can be detected thus ensuring you can dig without hitting cables.


Our company is planning to carry out some excavation work and we need to identify any buried services. How can we do this?


Prior to any excavation work, it is essential to identify existing buried services in order to avoid unplanned contacts. Out of sight does not mean out of danger. Work must be well planned and implemented, with the buried services correctly identified to ensure safe working.

Start with a risk assessment. This should consider how the work is to be carried out, ensure local circumstances are taken into account and include the location of buried services.

Accurate location of buried services is vital. Assistance should be sought from the relevant service provider, who will be able to give information and plans detailing the positions and depths of cables and pipes. Present and previous site-users may also be able to provide information and site diagrams.

Other indicators, such as hydrants, substations and manholes will provide useful clues. It must be remembered that plans and indicators may give a false picture, owing to unauthorised movement of services, etc.

Cable Avoidance Tool Training

Cable Avoidance Tool Training









Cable and pipe locators are useful tools for refined location work once the approximate route of a service is established. Various types exist, such as hum detectors (used for detecting electric cables via the magnetic field generated) and ground-probing radar. Persons using cable locators should be specially trained in their use, this can be achieved by attending a one day Cable Avoidance Training Course.

Before work commences, the position of the buried service should be marked on the ground using paint, or similar. Where there is any uncertainty about a pipe’s position, particularly plastic pipes, hand-dig trial holes to confirm the location of the service, the type of service, and the condition of the pipe or cable. If possible, the buried service should be killed, or isolated. If this cannot be established before digging
commences, always assume the service is live.

As part of the overall planning of the work, an emergency plan should be prepared. This will differ according to the service, but the main requirements are: to inform the appropriate service provider immediately; not to attempt repairs; to evacuate and isolate the area; to avoid touching plant and equipment (for example, electrical cables); and to ensure smoking is prohibited and that there are no naked flames present (for gas leaks).

Cable Avoidance Tool Training

Cable Avoidance Tool Training

Becoming a Cable Avoidance Tool operator is easy and this one day course will teach you to operate the equipment and practically test locating of underground services by walking the area.

The course can be for up to 6 candidates and can be registered with ourselves Kentra Training or with our Awarding Body NPORS, for 5 year membership.  The courses can either be held on-site or at our Training Centre in Middlewich, where we have all the equipment for you to use and pipes to find.

Contact us

For more information about this course or any of the 100 different training opportunities we deliver please give us a call on 01606 832 556 or Get in Touch, we are waiting to help.

Thank you for reading from the Kentra Training Team.

Cable Avoidance Tool Training