Shining a light on Linesearch – as part of National Safe Digging Week
As we reach the end of National Safe Digging Week, we wanted to acknowledge an organisation that’s proving central to keeping the country safe when it comes to high-risk construction projects – LinesearchbeforeUdig.
In April 2020, Smith Brothers’ SHEQ manager, Darrell Johnson, attended an industry webinar hosted by the Association for Project Safety. As part of the hour-long session, one of the subjects covered was how to avoid damaging third party assets — such as cables, pipes, and mains — when on site.
Following the event, we looked at ‘five things to consider before you dig’, and highlighted the great work delivered by our friends at LinesearchbeforeUdig. And, in line with the organisation’s first ‘National Safe Digging Week’ – we thought it was time for a quick recap.
What is LinesearchbeforeUdig?
This free-to-use utility service processes over 2.8 million third-party enquiries per annum, delivered on behalf of over 80 asset-owning members.
Its online search tool provides access to hundreds of thousands of kilometres of underground and overhead pipelines, as well as cables in the electricity, gas, high-pressure fuel/oil, heating, water, and fibre optic networks.
In addition, the service is designed to be used by anyone that needs to know where utility assets are located in order to work safely. These include:
• Contractors • Utilities provides • Local authorities • Excavators • Fencing installers • Private individuals • Farmers • Conveyancers
Enquiries can range from checking what is nearby for future planning or understanding the lay of the land for immediate use, such as an urgent excavation. Works can be of any scale too, be it a new highway scheme or simply replacing a garden fence.
What is National Safe Digging Week – and why does it matter?
This brand-new initiative is a national campaign which aims to raise awareness around hitting buried assets. Expanding on the rationale behind the initiative, LinesearchbeforeUdig explained:
Accidently hitting an electricity cable or a gas or water pipe can cause serious injury or death, changing lives forever.
Even if injury is avoided, hitting a pipe or cable can easily cut off an entire neighbourhood from a major utility. 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. They might 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.