National Safe Digging Week helps save lives. Digging blind, or without any knowledge of what is underneath the ground, can be extremely dangerous. Cable strikes can cause huge delays to projects, which can have ruinous financial implications. They can also cause severe and sometimes fatal injuries to the workforce. National Safe Digging Week aims to highlight the risks and what can be done to mitigate them.

July is National Safe Digging Month

Historically, National Safe Digging Week was in September, but it was moved to July to reflect how busy this time of year is for digging. From contractors to the general public, everyone takes advantage of the better weather and longer hours of daylight to get their digging done. The ground is usually drier, and easier to work with, as well, making it easy to see why July is the best month for National Safe Digging Week.

Why Does Safe Digging Matter?

Cable strikes can kill people. Never underestimate how deadly and dangerous they can be. It is not just large professional building firms who need to be careful either, all people should be mindful when they dig what lies underneath the soil. While utility maps can be available which should show where the utilities run, these can often be out-of-date. Given the potential risk of a cable strike, it is always best to do your research before digging and use safe digging practices to help prevent the risk.

Safe Digging Guide and Best Practices

Planning Your Dig – Plan carefully for your dig. Here at PIER, we would suggest using a vacuum excavator to remove any soil or debris. Vacuum excavation is a reliable, safe, and cost-effective method, and due to the process used, significantly reduces the risk of cable strikes.

Marking and Locating Utilities – Searching for utilities before you start digging is always best. Check their location on the utilities map, if you have one, and mark them out accordingly, so that everyone knows where they are. If you don’t have a map, then use search tools to help. Preparation is always key to a successful dig.

Digging Safely – We would always choose vacuum excavation as the safest way to clear the earth from a site. The unique suction method can gently and carefully move earth from around cables, without harming the cables or the operator.

How to Observe National Safe Digging Month?

National Safe Digging Week runs from the 8th of July to the 14th of July. Take this as an opportunity to share information with your staff. You may be using a temporary workforce during this time to cover holiday absences, and they may not be as knowledgeable as your permanent team, so it is the ideal time to promote this. Talk to your team about safety, you could display posters or similar in communal areas to highlight the awareness week. Anything that brings safety to the forefront of your workplace will be beneficial.

How PIER Can Help?

Here at PIER, we are huge advocates of safe digging. We firmly believe that vacuum excavation is the best choice for clearing or moving earth around your site. Vacuum excavation is safer, quicker and cheaper than manual excavation, and is consistently chosen by our clients as the best option. We provide vacuum excavation services for projects of all sizes right across the UK. From small inner city developments where space is tight, and access restricted, to remote rural locations where we can send our tracked excavator to access hard-to-reach locations. Whether you are planning a future project, or need an excavator in a hurry we can help, simply call the team at PIER today on01925 228 674


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