Western Power Distribution, Cadent, UK Power Networks, CECA, Last Mile, Sopra Steria, Linewatch, ISPA, John Robinson Associates, MUJV, Winvic and Network Plus, are just some of the big names supporting National Safe Digging Week when it kick starts on Monday 4th July.
The week, designed to raise awareness of the health and safety, financial and brand implications that come from hitting an underground pipe or cable, is back for its third year with more support than ever before.
David Foster, Health & Safety Director at Network Plus, comments: “We fully endorse and are proud to support this campaign. The campaign is aligned with our own commitment and drive to reduce underground service damages, reduce disruption to customers due to outages and importantly to minimise the chances of employees being injured by damaged services.
“As part of our commitment, we continually remind employees that we want them to Be: SAFE by following our safe digging procedures, the training that they have been provided and avoid short cuts.”
Samantha Brothwell, Streetworks Policy Manager at Western Power Network, agrees: “It’s great that so many projects delayed by the pandemic can now go ahead but it’s vital that people have the basic knowledge to carry out this work safely.
“Underground electricity cables often go unnoticed and unthought of but, if uncovered or struck, can be extremely dangerous. Whether you’re involved in a large scale infrastructure project or are doing some digging at home, you must be aware of what is underground before starting any work that involves breaking ground and plan your work accordingly. That’s why we’re joining the campaign to urge people to stay safe and think before they dig.”
The UK is experiencing a ‘digging boom’ post-pandemic thanks to the Government’s focus on kick starting the economy through investment in large-scale infrastructure projects. However, this rise in digging activity must not overlook safe digging practices.
Further to this, summer months are a busy time for digging, with industries like construction, highways, telecoms, agriculture and utilities, embarking on significant projects. The general public is also making the most of good weather, lighter evenings and time off work doing jobs in their garden. National Safe Digging Week acts as a timely reminder that everyone must dig safely, or else risk serious injuries, as well as the possibility of causing millions of pounds worth of damage.
Michael Blake, Associate Director, Engineering, Asset Management at Last Mile, continues: “We put great stock in the importance of safe digging and that is why it is important for us to be supporting LSBUD and National Safe Digging Week.
“Every week we unfortunately suffer the consequences of unsafe digging where our electricity and gas networks are damaged by third parties. Not only does this put the health and safety of those involved at risk but it also means we are having to undertake repair work to our networks which at times will inconvenience our connected customers. Therefore anything we can do reduce the number of damages to our network reduces not only the potential of injury to those causing the damage but also to those who have to go out and repair the damage on our behalf.”
For those that continue to use unsafe digging practices, the organisers of National Safe Digging Week argue that these habits are completely avoidable. Richard Broome, MD at LSBUD, concludes: “Safe digging includes doing lots of things right, but the first step is always using a search portal to get plans of what might be present before you put a spade in the ground. This essential check is free of charge. Simply go to www.lsbud.co.uk and do a quick, 2-minute check, to get your project off to the safest possible start.
“National Safe Digging Week is an important reminder that we need to take care of ourselves and our assets. With this in mind, I challenge you to get involved with the initiative in some way, shape or form, and help spread the ‘search before you dig’ message.”
To find out more about National Safe Digging Week, click here now.