People in a trench testing pipes.

How Pipe Testing Can Help You Meet Inspection Requirements

Consistent reliability on every system contained within an organization’s operational process is key to ensuring quality production at all times. It is for this reason and more that the significance of pipe testing cannot be overstated.

Performing regular pipe inspections within your company helps to ensure system safety, regulatory compliance, and the overall reliability of your systems in general. One major problem most companies face is the ability to meet inspection requirements, especially in the context of trench safety.



Inspection Requirements and Pipe Testing Benefits

In this article, you’ll learn how pipe testing can be a proactive solution for addressing the inspection challenges your company may face and help to ensure compliance with inspection standards. Click any of the links below to learn more:




Understanding Inspection Requirements


To remove any confusion about what a pipe is, according to the API Code definition, a pipe is any pressure-tight cylinder capable of transporting fluid or fluid pressure.


Did you know that up to 40% of mechanical failures in a company are typically due to piping failure? Thankfully, various inspection regulations and standards exist to ensure that companies know when they comply and ensure trench safety in various areas of operation.


One such regulation is the OSHA Trenching and Excavation Safety in relation to pipes. This Trenching and Excavation Safety is a standard set of safety precautions developed by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The goal is to reduce/eliminate hazards and control associated risks while complying with regulations.


Some of the dangers involved with excavation and trenching include cave-ins, hazardous atmospheres, and falling loads. Many of these hazards can be tied back to pipe failure in one way or another.


Failure to adhere to trench safety regulations can result in severe penalties and loss of properties and lives. Regular pipe testing presents itself as a strategic practice that serves as tangible evidence of due diligence and regulatory adherence by your team.






Benefits of Regular Pipe Testing for Inspection Compliance


Discussed below are some of the potential benefits of regularly testing your pipes for inspection compliance:


Leak Prevention


It is usually cheaper to fix a fault before total system failure occurs. This is because, in the case of a total system failure, it is usually unplanned, and it usually leads to loss of revenue, increased production time, and casualties in some cases.


The early detection and repair of pipe leakage via regular pipe testing helps to prevent environmental damage and prevent safety hazards. This mitigates future costly repair costs.


System Reliability


A system with up to 95% reliability is a system that is potentially safe and effective. Proactively testing your pipes serves to identify potential issues before they escalate into full-blown system failures. Therefore, it is safe to say that proactively testing your pipes ensures that you retain high system reliability and reduce the probability of catastrophic system failures.


Regular pipe testing leads to service continuity and reduces the risk of disruptions for your company and your customers.


Documentation and Evidence


Properly documented pipe testing procedures for trench safety ensure that you have detailed testing data and reports that serve as concrete evidence of proactive pipe maintenance and compliance during inspection rounds by city officials.


The possession of detailed and authorized documentation is invaluable as evidence of your team’s adherence to regulatory standards.


Reduced Inspection Time and Costs


Trenching and excavation are highly hazardous endeavors, and carrying out every possible measure to ensure the safety of your workers and the environment is critical to the success of your operation.


Regularly testing the pipes involved in your operation helps to minimize the need for extensive and disruptive inspections during official visits. Less extensive and disruptive pipe inspections help to save time and reduce inspection costs.


Enhanced Trench Safety


Lastly, safety is a critical part of any trenching and excavation operation, as the hazards associated with these operations are quite numerous and dire. Regular pipe testing for enhanced regulatory compliance and safety ensures that your trenching operation is safe at all times.


To ensure that every member of your trenching and piping team is up to date and adequately trained to carry out detailed proactive pipe testing on your facility, we recommend that active members undergo OSHA Trench and Excavation Competent Person Training.


Types of Pipe Testing for Inspection Compliance


Due to the critical nature of pipe testing for trenching and excavation purposes, there are various types of pipe testing for inspection compliance that your team needs to become familiar with.


Below are some of the common types of pipe testing carried out for inspection compliance purposes:


Pressure Testing


While there is no federal OSHA requirement that specifically addresses the use of compressed air to test for leaks in gas lines, there are other applicable general industry and construction standards that address the dangers of compressed gases.


Pressure testing pipes is a method used to verify the integrity and pressure capacity of pipelines, ensuring that they meet the safety and operational standards required by the industry.


Leak Detection


Pipes and pressure typically go hand in hand. If one fails, the other suffers just as badly. Regularly inspecting your pipes for even the smallest gas leaks can help prevent catastrophic pressure failures, which may lead to extensive downtimes. Plus, pipe leaks could be hazardous to the environment and your team.


Appropriately storing your pipes using pipe racks is a great way to prevent pipe damage, which may lead to pipe leakage.


Flow Measurement


Ensure continuous and efficient system operation by carrying out regular flow measurement testing using appropriate pipe flow testing tools. Flow measurement is a critical aspect of pipe inspection, and flow measurement should be carefully documented at all times to allow for early detection of flow issues in the system.


Underground Utility Locating


Tools like the cable locator are essential for preventing accidental damage to buried utilities during trenching and excavation operations. These kinds of tools come in handy during regular underground utility tests for pipes and other underground assets.


Pipe Inspection Cameras


Pipe inspection cameras are critical to routine pipe testing as they allow your team to have visual confirmation of damage to your pipe’s integrity and allow for precise repair and maintenance procedures to be carried out promptly.


Note: It is important to use the right kind of pipe inspection tools to carry out your pipe testing activities to ensure accuracy in your results and data.




In conclusion, regular pipe inspection according to the OSHA trenching safety guidelines is a great way to stay compliant with inspection requirements and industry regulations. Apart from the compliance benefits that come with regular pipe testing, especially in regard to trench safety, it also helps to ensure a smooth and efficient system operation for you and your workers.


Sunbelt Rentals offers access to the best pipe testing equipment to ensure regulatory compliance and employee safety.



Get Support

Are you planning your next Trench and Excavation project?

Contact the Trench Safety rental experts at Sunbelt Rentals for all your Trench Safety training and equipment needs.

Trench Safety Resources

Dive deeper into Trench Safety with these related articles, blogs, and success stories.