roadworks need reliable information about underground pipes and cables.
The first phase of a new data project was recently launched. It provides a digital map of the country’s underground pipes and cables. This could help solve one of the biggest safety challenges during groundworks
The National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) will eventually include 40,000,000km of underground cables and pipes across the UK 
Energy, water and telecommunications companies all hold information about their own equipment. The law says they must share this data with anyone carrying out excavation work. It’s essential to help keep people safe and prevent accidental damage. 
However, it’s difficult to know who to ask and information is often in many different formats. In many cases, several organisations hold the information needed for each dig. 
The NUAR currently covers North East England, Wales and London but will eventually cover the whole country. There will then be a single source of information to help speed up groundworks, minimise accidental damage, and reduce inconvenience for local communities. 

What happens next? 

Extra data based on real projects will support new features and refinements. The aim is to improve NUAR’s usefulness in the three launch areas. Coverage will improve as data for new areas becomes available with permission to share it. In the future service fees will help maintain NUAR in the longer term. Other commercially useful features might also be added. 

Electrical safety during groundworks 

Damage to electrical cables happens when they are: 
cut through by a sharp object such as the point of a tool 
crushed by a heavy object or powerful machine. 
In some cases, damage to cables might not be reported so they won’t be repaired and these are a real danger. The Electricity at Work regulations explains the steps you must take to use electricity safely at work. 
A reliable and consistent way to identify underground cables and other utilities will save a lot of time and improve on-site safety. With better information, planning for new projects involving groundworks will improve. 
Please get in touch if you need advice or assistance about electrical safety when you are planning groundworks. 
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