Feb 2015
Gas Distribution
Bar Hole Zone Rating (Stage 1)
Feb 2015
Aug 2015
Ryan Smith, Innovation Delivery Manager
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Network Innovation Allowance
GD - Safety and emergency
Gas Distribution Networks
The scope of the project isto carry out a detailed technical, environmental and legislative assessment on the bar hole sampling tools used in the GB gas industry to date and identify the control measures and technical design requirements that can be discussed with a manufacturer in a future Stage 2.

The objectives of this project is to produce a report detailing a risk assessment for the bar holing activity and the suitability of any powered device to locate and detect gas escapes.  The following will be considered within the technical report:


  •      Assess the likely environment in which the bar hole sampling tool will be used with respect to explosive risk.
  •    Review the relevant legislation requirements for working in such environments.
  •     Review the potential implications within the tool design such as battery or air powered tools.
  •     Identify under what circumstances the battery drill should be prohibited. Such as on medium pressure escapes, where gas can be heard or felt.
  •     Identify what control measures need to be incorporated into the design of the device and what standards they should comply to.
  •     Identify any operational control measures which need to be applied to the use of the device.
  •     Identify if any qualification testing is required to demonstrate product safety in explosive environments.
  •     Discuss/establish technical requirements for the design with a potential manufacturer.
The success criteria of this project will be determined against the quality and content of the technical assessment. The project will be deemed to be successful if the following outcomes are achieved:

  • Delivery of a report detailing the risk assessment for the activity of bar holing and the design requirements for a powered bar holing tool covering all key areas as detailed in the objectives.

  • Provide relevant conclusions on the technical requirements that can be used to support a manufacturer in the design and development of a new powered bar holing tool.

The conclusions of this project will support a future Stage 2 project which will look to work with a manufacturer to design a tool that is compliant with the recommendations made in Stage 1.