July is statistically the busiest month for excavating – and correspondingly the highest month for third party damages - and has been since statistics started to be collected in 2013. (Source: https://www.utilitystrikeavoidancegroup.org/strike-damages-report.html)
The general increase in damage events in the summer months is thought to be due to longer working hours, better weather, temporary workers covering for holidays, farmers and fencers making the most of the long days and consumers having more opportunity to do home improvements during British Summer Time.
Accordingly National Safe Digging Week will be held during the first full week in July, commencing this year on Monday 3rd July, to coincide with the UK’s busiest time for digging and help to promote awareness of how to work more safely around pipes, cables and fibre.
The week, designed to raise awareness of the health and safety, financial and brand implications that come from hitting an underground pipe, cable or fibre, is back for its fourth year with more support than ever before.
Of course, this has never been more important as Britain is undergoing a digging boom.
The race to lay fibre, the electric vehicle infrastructure roll out, mains replacement and upgrades - plus a myriad of other excavating activities - mean that the utility assets that lay in situ are under greater threat of damage than ever before.
Fibre, often the latest asset to be installed, is usually the shallowest asset in the ground. This means that it will be the first to be damaged by poorly planned or executed digging.
With more than 150 ISPs in a highly competitive field racing to connect the UK’s homes to full fibre networks, the volume of works underway and planned over the next 3-4 years is huge.
More excavations bring with them an ever increasing risk of third party damage- both for those doing the works and for the ever-increasing assets in situ. Maintaining connection by protecting both the new assets and those already in the ground is of paramount importance in keeping those new customers happy. Making the people who plan and undertake these works aware of the presence of assets before they start work is key to reducing avoidable third party damages.
With that in mind LSBUD is urging fibre owners to get involved with National Safe Digging Week and help to spread the message to reduce damage incidents, keeping workers safe and customers connected.
Last year major names such as Western Power Distribution, Cadent, UK Power Networks, CECA, Last Mile, Sopra Steria, Linewatch, ISPA, MUJV and Network Plus threw their weight behind the campaign, resulting in widespread media coverage.
If your company would like to get involved in National Safe Digging Week 2023 LSBUD will be able to provide a host of shareable information and messaging for social media.
To register your interest please contact email@example.com