Blog post

The Roughneck Safety Shovel. A lifesaving innovation

16th June 2017

They say accidents happen. But when accidents happen involving utility strikes, the consequences can be nothing short of devastating.

At best, hitting hidden pipework or cabling when digging can delay projects, damage customer and community relations, and result in unexpected and expensive costs. In the very worst scenarios, the consequences can be even more severe resulting in serious injuries and even fatalities to the workers involved.

Given these facts, it is perhaps unsurprising that most safety conscious companies involved in utility provision, water treatment, highway maintenance and any other form of excavation construction employ a variety of measures to help reduce utility strikes – and especially given maps and charts can sometimes be inaccurate or out of date.

Tools such as CAT scanners and GPR can play an invaluable role. However there is an additional way of adding a further layer of protection which is both low cost and relatively foolproof in that its use requires no setting-up and no calibration.

It’s called the Roughneck Safety Shovel.

Developed with contractors for contractors

Developed exclusively by Olympia Tools (distributors of the Roughneck brand of hand tools and workwear) and available from selected distributors and stockists across the UK, the Roughneck Safety Shovel represents a significant evolution of a familiar tool and benefits from a carefully considered, especially fit for purpose design.

This design is based on the real world experiences of Craig Broadhurst – a contractor involved in subsurface work.

Unlike a conventional shovel, the Safety Shovel has a special curved blade with an intelligently designed lip. Together, these features help to prevent penetration should the tool accidentally strike an underground cable or pipe.

Plus the Safety Shovel delivers this reduction in risk without any compromise in overall digging performance provided it is used with a slightly adapted technique.

This is thanks to the fact that it still employs a one piece, forged steel head which has been both hardened and tempered. The blade is also heavy duty and treaded.

Further features offered by the Safety Shovel include a solid fibre glass handle, which is both high strength and light weight, as well as an ergonomic soft-feel D grip.

Two variants of the Safety Shovel are available. A standard version which is suitable for general digging and excavation, and a graft which is specifically designed for breaking ground and for digging in clay or stony ground.

Customers also have option of upgrading to insulated tools for the ultimate in safety. These products provide shock resistance which has been safely tested against 10,000 volts and which is approved to 1000 volt in accordance with BS8020:2012.

Given the cost of rectifying damaged utilities can cost anywhere from £400 to £1,000,000 and that the Roughneck Safety Shovel costs under £50 (ex. VAT) for the standard tool and under £100 (ex. VAT) for the insulated variant, the question isn’t whether business can afford to use this lifesaving innovation.

The question is – can they afford not to?

Widely recognised and respected

The impressive ability of the Roughneck Safety Shovel to contribute towards zero accident targets and to protect both people and profits has led to the tool being embraced by a range of high profile customers involved in highway maintenance, utilities provision, construction and the maintenance of the nation’s infrastructure.

The tool has also gained wider recognition from industry bodies.

For instance, shortly after the Safety Shovel’s launch, the Energy Innovation Centre entered the product in two categories at the 2014 UK Energy Innovation Awards.

It was shortlisted for both the ‘Best innovation implemented and adopted by a contractor’ award and the ‘Best safety innovation’ award.

It speaks volumes that the Roughneck Safety Shovel has been championed by an organisation which aims to encourage cooperation and knowledge sharing and to promote industry best practice

So in short, do yourself, your co-workers and your industry a favour.

Spread the word about the lifesaving innovation that is the Roughneck Safety Shovel.

The Roughneck Safety Shovel is part of wider range of innovative hand tools from Olympia Tools which cater for the needs of organisations involved in a wide range of industries and sectors. To view our entire range, click here.

How the Roughneck Safety Shovel prevents the dangers of striking hidden utilities when digging. Safety first. the Roughneck Safety Shovel from Olympia Tools is helping to reduce the risk to property, life and professional reputations caused by striking hidden utilities when digging.
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