30th May 2012
The ‘Safe Digging Charter’, which is endorsed by the Health & Safety Executive, was officially launched at the SBGI Utility Street Works 2012 event in April by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker MP.
Setting out common standards and competencies for utility companies, contractors and the supply chain when digging excavations, the charter provides a toolkit for organisations to incorporate into training and best practise guidance. It is designed as a practical, working document which can be used across operations.
Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions is initially embedding the charter with its 20 largest subcontractors across the electricity cabling, gas and water sectors, before a staged rollout to other organisations takes place throughout the year.
Alan Phillipson, Director for Engineering & Safety at Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, signed the charter on behalf of the company in April:
“Latest estimates indicate that there are around four million holes dug each year by utility companies alone in the UK. With the large number of buried, water, gas, electricity and telecoms utilities under UK streets, any excavation can pose a safety risk to our people and could lead to an interruption of service to utility customers.”
“Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions is very pleased to be able to support this important industry initiative that sets safety standards for excavation works. Our priority is always to the safety of our people, whether they are directly employed by us or if they are working for a subcontracting organisation, and members of the public who come into contact with our works.
“I believe that requiring our subcontractors to abide by this standard is absolutely the right thing to do. We are committed to supporting our sub-contractors to work safely and we will continue to drive up standards across our work.”
The Safe Digging Charter is available to download in full from www.njug.org.uk.
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