Brits are at risk of more than 31,500 preventable incidents this year as the public carries out more home improvement works than ever before.
With over 126,000 digging projects, such as extensions, renovations and landscape gardening, taking place across the UK, and 25 percent of homeowners not performing any kind of underground pipe or cable search before they start digging, more than 31,500 of us will be ‘digging blind’ in 2021.
5 BIGGEST RISKS OF ‘DIGGING BLIND’
- Impact on human life – fatalities and serious injuries
- Causing environmental damage through oil and/or chemical spill
- Flooding entire areas
- Cutting off power for whole neighbourhoods
- Leaving neighbours without broadband, therefore unable to work
The ‘forced’ time in our properties caused by lockdown has led to many people thinking about where home improvements can be made. Therefore it is no surprise to see the UK experiencing a ‘digging boom’. And it really is a boom, with 34 percent more home improvements works taking place this year compared to 2020.
Richard Broome, Managing Director at LSBUD, comments: “It’s great that we’re all putting time spent at home to good use, looking to make our properties work better and harder for us, but this extra building activity could have significant risks to the British public. 31,500 projects are taking place without the person digging having any knowledge of what’s beneath them before they put a spade or digger bucket into the ground. That works out to be 86 new projects starting every day where the person is simply ‘digging and hoping’, something that we find very worrying.
“Cutting through electricity cables will likely seriously injure the person doing the digging and can cut off power for an entire neighbourhood. Putting a spade through even a low pressure pipeline can cause an explosion. Even if you are not hurt, I’m sure we can all imagine how unpopular you might be if you leave your neighbours without water or broadband for a few days.”
Of all digging projects being performed by Brits, 47 percent are for building projects and extensions. 15 percent are for installing pipes and cables, 13 percent for fencing, 11 percent of people want to drop kerbs, one in 10 are doing significant work on their driveway, whilst four percent are performing tree planting.
Richard Broome continues: “Building and construction work is vital in the UK’s economic recovery, however I would urge everyone to search before they dig. It is this message we want to get across as part of National Safe Digging Week, which starts on Monday 27th September. Avoid preventable incidents by always remembering, ‘Search Before You Dig’.”
5 MOST COMMON DIGGING PROJECTS THIS YEAR
- Building extensions
- Installing pipes and cables
- Putting in fencing or gates
- Dropping kerbs
- Driveway works