Permit to Dig

Incidences of “services strikes” and “near misses” are an ever-present and increasing problem in the construction industry. Some of the potential consequences of such incidents include:

  • Injury or fatality
  • Damage to local infrastructure
  • Downtime leading to programme delays and financial penalties
  • Damage to plant and machinery

Vision Survey is at the forefront of the permit to dig process in the UK and has developed an incredibly effective system to significantly reduce the risk of service strikes and near misses whilst instilling into the workforce a safe working culture when working around buried services.

Our appointed Service Coordinators liaise with service providers and manage the overall process of permit control. The Service Locators mark and maintain the utility services on the ground and brief the workforce on the Permit to Dig and associated risk. The CAD Coordinators create and maintain a Single Model Environment (SME). This live model is constantly updated with all service information, giving the Service Locators accurate knowledge of the entire sub-surface utility network across the site.

This is a proven process based on the results from many long-term projects where the process of breaking ground was controlled throughout. You can read examples of projects such as Olympic Park, Crossrail, HS2, Heathrow T5,  Hinkley Point, and Thames Tideway for more information.

Our exemplary permit performance records demonstrate the effectiveness of our process and our commitment to improving the safety of every project we are involved in. For example, approximately 6000 permits have been successfully issued across the Olympic Park, Heathrow, and HS2 projects respectively with only two unrelated incidents.

All the subsurface information we gather is combined with topographic data to produce an all-encompassing SME model of the site. This is updated in real time as the work progresses so that current and accurate information is available at a moment’s notice. Our high-quality as-built information is recorded with specific emphasis on efficient dissemination to designers and utility providers. This leads to clear and detailed reports in each phase of the project.

Using the experience and lessons learned from above, Vision is now driving innovation and technology to enhance the end-user experience when managing a permit to dig. Vision has set up a new division called Vislock and we have been working over the last two years to develop a paperless permit to dig system. We truly believe that this new technology will change the way we manage, and issue permits in the future.

To find out more about the different types of services we offer or ask about Permit to Dig Control, contact us: 01293 223435 or