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The Importance of Digging Safely

The Importance of Digging Safely

January 2021

Digging Safely with UTN

At UTN Training we use linesearchbeforeUdig.co.uk, which is an important tool for our New Roads and Street Works (NRSWA) training courses. It helps us plan the NRWSA courses for our training delegates and enables us to accurately show our delegates where potential pitfalls might lie.

According to Linesearch, writing in the Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP), the importance of safe digging is of paramount importance to everyone’s health and safety, but also to the health of local businesses near the dig site.

Because, even though 71% of all digging work that takes place in the UK has a preceding comprehensive search for underground pipes and cables, the SHP notes that there were still 1,230 safety related electrical incidents reported to the HSE, of which 73 resulted in injuries.

They go on to say that for every ‘asset strike’ – that is to say, every time a cable or pipe is cut through – the true cost of the impact is 29 times the direct cost. For every £1,000 of direct repair cost, the actual cost would be £29,000, as it affects things like traffic disruption, loss of custom to local businesses, and such like indirect factors.

Indeed, such courses as the New Roads and Street Works training courses we provide at UTN are intended to minimise such damages by teaching our delegates best practice which is in line with the New Roads and Street Works Act of 1991. One such course is the Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus course. This course covers your responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act, your responsibility to work under HSG47 (which is guidance aimed at those involved in commissioning, planning, managing, and carrying out work on or near underground services) and obtaining and understanding utilities drawings, to name a few objectives of the course.

Such education is of paramount importance when you plan on working near underground cables, pipes, or structures, to name a few. But although such tools as Linesearch are becoming more widespread and widely used, there are still cases where cables and pipes go unlisted on such online tools. In such a case, this is when the quality of the delegate’s training really shines. This means that certain UTN NRWSA alumni will have the skills to make constant evaluations of the situation and have the ability to read utilities drawings when online tools may not work.

In conclusion, ensuring that digging is done accurately and safely is the perfect way to reduce down-time, reduce costs for the local economy, and reduce accidents – and one of the best ways to ensure this is with the excellent training we provide at UTN Training.

For more information on our range of NRSWA courses call us on 01924 601 042 or via our contact form 

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