Industry Charter wins award recognition

For immediate release – Wednesday 21 November 2012

The Safe Dig Charter, a collaborative industry and cross-utility initiative to ensure the highest standards of safety and best practice when carrying out maintenance work on the vital services for our homes and businesses, has won an award for avoidance of damage to supplies.

The Charter was facilitated by Energy Networks Association (ENA) through the Utility Strike Avoidance Group and was recognised at the National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) Annual Awards in the House of Commons by Transport Minister Norman Baker MP.

The Charter will help to reduce delays to the travelling public, while improving standards within the industry by ensuring a competent and trained workforce carry out well planned and properly assessed work in accordance with safe systems and procedures of work.

Transport Minister Norman Baker MP launched the Charter in April this year and spoke at the awards last night too:

“We all know that street works are essential, and investing in modern utilities is needed to support economic growth, but they can be contentious and will always be of interest to the public.

“I warmly endorse these initiatives. Innovation in the industry is delivering new safer and quicker ways of working. And new materials and products allow quicker and more resilient first-time reinstatements.”

ENA’s Engineering Development Manager Paul Fidler said:

“We are delighted that the Safe Dig Charter has been recognised in this way. It represents a hugely positive and collaborative approach across the industry and it’s making real progress to improve safety for the industry and the public as well as securing customers’ supplies.

“It is not only a testament to the companies who have signed up so far, but I believe this award also recognises the value the Charter itself and the principles behind it and we hope this serves to highlight its importance to the industry.”

David Burgess, Group Health and Safety Manager of North Midland Construction Plc, who led the development of the Charter and the USAG website, said:

“The responsibility we have as an industry to deliver safe, competent and efficient working on the vital services provided to the public is of great importance. The Safe Dig Charter has been a valuable tool in raising the awareness of this and I hope the recognition of this award will encourage others to sign up too.

“It is of paramount importance that we share best practice to ensure the highest level of health and safety for the workforce and that we minimise disruption to the public. The Charter and the associated toolkit designed as guidance for small and medium enterprises have been incredibly well received so far and we intend to get many more utilities, contractors and Local Authorities involved.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

More information on the Utility Strikes Avoidance Group can be found herehttp://usag.weebly.com

Details of the charter can be found here.

Details of the launch event can be found here.

ENA represents the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.

For further information please contact:

Tim Field MCIPR,
Head of Press and Public Affairs
Energy Networks Association
E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)207 706 5157
M: +44 (0)7725 372 758
W: www.energynetworks.org
Follow us on Twitter: @EnergyNetworks
Connect with us on LinkedIn