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15/12/11: Check online before you dig

Electricity North West is urging residents to take advantage of a new online service which can help them to locate live underground electrical equipment before they begin any major digging work.

The company has launched the ‘BeforeUDig’ service to make plans of its entire 43,000km underground cable network available online for the first time. It is hoped the service will improve safety and reduce the number of faults caused by damage to equipment made during digging and excavation work.

The new ‘BeforeUDig’ service is available to everybody and enables people to request plans of underground electrical cables and equipment from the Electricity North West website. The power company will then automatically email any relevant plans from its geographic information system; giving people universal digital access to plans 24 hours a day for the first time.

Two recent incidents gave construction workers in the region severe electric shocks and serious burns, when they damaged live underground electrical equipment.

Electricity North West is actively encouraging people to make sure they plan thoroughly before they dig to ensure safety and avoid costly accidents.

Vincent Cranny, head of health, safety and environment at Electricity North West, says: “It is essential to know what is underground before starting any major digging work.

“BeforeUDig makes all of our plans available to everybody at the touch of a button. One email from us can save considerable disruption to the electricity network and can save people the money we charge to fix the damage caused.

“It is also a safeguard to protect people from potentially fatal injuries when carrying out groundwork.”

To use the BeforeUDig service, go to

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