National Safe Digging Week
Monday 21st September to Sunday 27th September
National Safe Digging Week is a brand-new initiative that is running nationally to raise awareness around hitting buried assets.
During this week, we are looking for supporters from all industries to make sure the campaign reaches as far and wide as possible.
All support is free, we just want as many people and companies as possible to jump on board and help us to continue the consumer education around this important topic.
Why it’s important to Search Before You Dig?
Accidently hitting an electricity cable or a gas or water pipe can cause serious injury or death. This changes lives for ever.
Even if injury is avoided, hitting a pipe or cable can easily cut off an entire neighbourhood from a major utility. And no one wants to be without water, electricity, gas or broadband whilst things are repaired!
Yet, many people aren’t aware of having to check what’s under the ground before they dig.
They perhaps think it can’t happen to them – they’re only doing a small job or just digging in their garden. Or they think checking will take too long, cost money or be complicated. None of this is true. Searching before you dig couldn’t be easier and it’s FREE to do.
How to Search Before You Dig
• Just put in your location in here.
• Wait 5 minutes
• Maps will be provided of pipes and cables registered with us, together with contact details for other asset owners.
No matter what digging job you are planning to do around the home – no matter how small, even if you’re just planting a tree or putting in a fence post Search Before You Dig!
More Reasons to Search Before You Dig
• Avoid injury or death – remember it isn’t always your life at risk; you’re also endangering others around you.
• Pipes and cables are closer to the surface then you think – don’t risk it.
• The UK has 1.5m kilometres of underground pipes and cables – a lot! Our search tool covers over 1m of these networks.
• Being without electricity, gas, water or broadband for any time is a real nuisance – doubly so if you’re working from home.
• Just because you have ‘always lived at this house’ doesn’t mean you know where all of the pipes and cables are.
• Even the smallest digging job can result in a pipe or cable being hit
• It costs roughly £3,000 for a utility company to repair a broken pipe or cable – imagine the positive impact on everyone’s household bills if these incidents were reduced.
• Add in things like the disruption to peoples’ lives and local businesses, traffic delays and lost work hours - fixing a broken pipe or cable actually costs £87,000. That’s a big impact on the economy in your area.
• Search is free
So no matter how small the job - ‘Search Before You Dig’.
Search now for free here.
Water Wipe Out - how hitting a water pipe, hit a community hard
In 2019, The Telegraph and Mail Online reported how a farmer and his nephew accidently smashed through a water pipe in Holbrook, Derbyshire, using a post knocker mounted to a tractor to strengthen gate posts. They were just ‘knocking them a little further in’ when the pipe was hit.
The farmer has described how his nephew was nearly killed when a wall of water ‘100ft high’ shot up from the ground.
Unfortunately for the farmer, the situation was made worse, when gallons of water cascaded through the village, incensing neighbours and causing severe damage to homes and businesses. It also ended up flooding parts of the A6 too.
The farmer was quoted as saying: “The water was 100ft in the air, it was unbelievable. The power of it. There must have been a million gallons of water. It went on for 50 minutes. We just moved away from it as quickly as we could and I called Severn Trent.
“We were just trying to strengthen the fence then this water came up and almost killed my nephew, it nearly knocked the tractor over.”
First-hand Accounts told to the Mail Online
• Ian Busting in neighbouring Milford said his wife was devastated as her florist business was ‘ruined’ and their home completely flooded. He was quoted as saying: “'My wife is devastated. Everything's ruined. Someone will have to pay for all this. We have a large corporate order which needs to go out on Thursday. We'll have to find a way of completing the order.”
• Alex Wilbraham, owner of the Holly Bush Inn, said: 'It's like a river. It's been going for about an hour. We've made a barricade outside of the pub to stop the water flowing in. The volume and speed of it is crazy.”
• Rafe Hock, owner of the Riverside Fitness Centre, told Derbyshire Live: “It started with just a surge of water at around 11.30am and we noticed that cars coming past would cause a wave of water to enter the gym. There's going to be a lot of damaged equipment in the gym but whatever will happen, it will dry or be replaced. We'll probably be shut for a while.”
As part of National Safe Digging Week, we are really excited to launch our brand new eLearning programme!
In conjunction with Linewatch and using advice from USAG, we have designed an eLearning programme that focuses on safe digging – a perfect theme for National Safe Digging Week!
The online programme is free to use and we encourage as many individuals and companies as possible to enrol and complete the course.
The online portal can be reached here: https://www.safe-digging.co.uk/