Look Out Look Up! to reduce overhead power line incidents

14th August 2019

On average, one person dies or is seriously injured each month as a result of contact with overhead power lines. Data from the Health & Safety Executive shows that one in four of these cases (26%) will involve a lorry driver, making construction and road haulage workers at extreme risk of fatal injury in the workplace.

To help reduce the number of fatalities amongst lorry drivers, the UK’s energy network operators have joined forces to launch Look Out Look Up!.

As part of the campaign, the ENA has released a new, thought-provoking film targeting those working in construction and road haulage. The film explores the journey of two road haulage workers carrying out a job near overhead power lines resulting in a fatal accident. As well as showcasing the dangers of working near overhead power lines, the film also reveals the devastating affects these accidents can have on friends and family.

The film is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/2JwQALxT3v0 and can also be found at the ENA website: https://www.energynetworks.org/electricity/she/safety/safety-advice/overhead-power-lines-safety-campaign-transport-hauliers.html

Advice for those working in construction, or whose work involves lorries and other such HGVs and may take place near overhead power lines:

  • Risk assess – know where overhead power lines are and mark them on a map. Find out the height and reach of your equipment and how this compares to the maximum working height under overhead power lines. Share this information with workers and contractors.
  • Control measures – don’t work near an overhead power line if you don’t have to. Speak to your electricity network operator for advice. Select suitable machinery and equipment and use it safely.
  • Know what’s safe, and what isn’t – certain work should be avoided within 10 metres of overhead power lines, such as for example operating Lorry mounted cranes (such as hiabs or palingers), Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP’s), tipper vehicles and cranes.
  • Keep your distance – when overhead power lines are damaged or fall to the ground, individuals should stay well away and contact their local network operator by telephoning 105.
  • Know what to do if you make contact – if your vehicle has come into contact with an overhead power line, stay in the cab and try to drive clear. If that is not possible, jump clear of the machine, move away and don’t touch it once on the ground.
  • Call 105 – if an incident occurs, contact your network operator by calling the national 24-hour emergency number 105.