How to dig safely

At NGED, we look after the electricity cables and wires that deliver electricity to homes and business in the area. It's important to highlight the risks that people could encounter due to a lack of knowledge about how to dig safely in gardens and under their homes.

Protecting Lives, Cables and Pipes

Linesearch beforeUdig (LSBUD) is a free to use, safe digging service providing utility asset maps for over 3 million searches every year. 

'Think Before You Dig' DIY Tips

  • Think ahead - before you start, you should contact your local energy network operator to source the electricity and other utility plans for your property. 
  • Check and identify - once received, you should use a Cable Avoidance Tool (CAT and Genny) to locate all the cables shown on the plans, marking their location on the ground surface as you go. 
  • Use your hands - once identified, you can begin to hand-dig trial holes to find their exact position. Do not use a mechanical excavator / drill for this. 
  • If in concrete, make a call - if you find an underground cable embedded in concrete always assume it is live and do not attempt to break it out. Contact your electricity network operator to ensure it is de-energised. 
  • Know when to vacate - if you damage an underground cable, vacate the excavation immediately, phone your electricity network operator emergency number (or 105) and keep everybody clear of the area. 
  • Know who to call - in case of emergency, immediately phone 999 and your local electricity network operator using 105. 

Plan, Scan and Think before you dig!

In case of emergency

You can call 105 to report or get information about power cuts in your local area

You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines or substations that could put you, or someone else, in danger.

If there is a serious immediate risk, you should call the emergency services too. 


Health and Safety

We're committed to providing a safe and reliable electricity distribution supply while minimising risk to the public and protecting our planet. 

We have established policies, processes and cultures to reduce risk. We ensure that no one is injured or hurt as we perform our urgent work. It's why we continue to develop new and improved tools and techniques to eliminate and reduce risk. 

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