Wales & West Utilities urges contractors to think before they dig

Posted on: 09/06/2022

After Wales & West Utilities spent several days working to restore gas supplies to homes and businesses across Woolacombe after a third party damaged a gas pipe, the company is asking contractors working in the local area to follow some simple steps and ask themselves ‘Can you DIG it’ before they start work.

Wales & West Utilities is urging companies to remember three simple steps:

  • D is for Dial. Digging can be dangerous and hitting a gas pipe may cause a gas leak, a fire or explosion. Phone Wales & West Utilities first on 029 2027 8912 or go to’ll receive all the information you need in advance – and it’s free.
  • I is for Investigate it’s the only way to stay safe. Make sure you get an up-to-date copy of our gas plans from LinesearchbeforeUdig – and check if we need to visit your site before you work.
  • G is for Go ahead – but with care. Make sure you have our up-to-date gas plans on site and use cable and pipe-locating devices. Use safe digging practices and take all the precautions necessary to avoid damaging the gas network, yourself, others, and your bank balance. You will be billed for any costs if something goes wrong and could be prosecuted.

Stephen Davies, Plant Protection Manager at Wales & West Utilities, explains:Every day, underground gas pipes get damaged by people digging without knowing what’s below. We deal with, on average, one incident a day across our network. Damaging gas pipes can be catastrophic - it might cause serious injury to you and others around you, as well as the costs of repair, fines and fees, which can be huge.

Our simple guidelines exist to help contractors which are carrying out excavation work. We want to make sure people are kept as safe as possible.

A wrong move can have a massive impact on communities as well those involved in making the repairs. This happened last week in Woolacombe and we would urge contractors to follow these three simple steps to keep themselves and local communities safe.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we'll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We'll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe