Avoiding Confined Space Entry by 3D Laser Scans

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At GeoScan we are always looking for ways to improve safety for both our team and our clients. For the majority of our projects, entering confined spaces such as manholes or vaults poses the greatest risk to workers and costs for our clients.

To remove the need for confined space entry, we at GeoScan Subsurface Surveys use the latest laser scanners to map and document the interior of manholes and vaults without the need to manually enter the space.

Both public and private utilities use these hazardous spaces for multiple reasons: to pull cabling through in the case of a BC Hydro or Telus vaults, housing city infrastructure such as pumping stations and/or simply as an access point to storm or sanitary pipes.

Above is an example of data collected from a storm and sanitary manhole in close proximity.

Each confined space, on average, takes merely minutes to scan and capture the data required. Most manholes are located in roadways so fast data collection is imperative to reduce traffic disruption and subsequently lower project costs.

Workers traditionally entered these spaces to gather measurements and perform condition assessments visually. Both these tasks can now be done from the comfort of the office by multiple people and even multiple organizations. The added bonus is that the data can be collected periodically over multiple time intervals; the major benefit is allowing for the identification of a vault that is slowly caving in by comparing historic models created. Furthermore, the rate of cave in can be analyzed and determined. This also works well for monitoring crack development.

The applications of this methodology is not just limited to manholes. GeoScan has operated in underground reservoirs, crawl spaces and box girders.

GeoScan clients are increasing opting to use our 3D laser scanning services for confined spaces due to its speed, safety and the wealth of information available from our final deliverables.

Below is a large storm sewer