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We're urging construction workers to stay safe around electrical hazards

02/12/2022

We are urging construction workers to be careful onsite and ‘Plan Ahead, Look Around’ after over 70 serious electrical incidents were reported in the last year.

Latest figures from across the area we operate in show that 74 reports were submitted to our health and safety team relating to accidents on construction sites alone.
 
The number of incidents highlights the risks for workers on sites, with an average of five people tragically dying each year across the UK due to accidental contact with underground or overhead electrical lines.
 
Use of heavy-duty machinery and vehicles mean that construction workers are often in close contact with power lines, which can be easily forgotten about among busy daily schedules and operations.
 
It is essential to  plan ahead to avoid the risk of vehicles either driving into power lines or tippers coming into contact with overhead lines.
SPEN
 
Our safety campaign is being backed by leading construction organisations including the Home Builders Federation, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) and Homes for Scotland, who are encouraging members and construction workers to follow the safety advice on offer.
 
SP Energy Networks Health & Safety Director Derek Bell, said: “Work on construction sites can be very fast paced so it’s incredibly important that workers are aware of electrical hazards on site before any activity starts.
 
“By planning ahead and ensuring teams are aware of electrical hazards, it helps minimise the risk of accidents, which can often occur due to workers striking power lines they’re unaware of.
 
“Our campaign aims to raise awareness of electrical risks and share free safety advice that can help prevent accidents.”
 
  • Carry out a risk assessment in accordance with HSE Guidance Note HS (G) 47, ‘Avoiding Danger from Underground Services’ and GS6 ‘Avoiding danger from overhead power lines’.
  • Ensure you have up-to-date plans of underground services in the area – SP Energy Networks can supply these if you don’t have them.
  • Include the 105 electrical emergency hotline on your site plans and in your list of telephone contacts; workers can also save it in their mobiles.
  • Always scan the area you intend to excavate using a Cable Avoidance Tool (CAT) and Genny.
  • Be aware that the actions of third parties could have altered cable depths or positions since the cables were laid.
  • Mark cable positions using waterproof road paint or another permanent marker.
Kieran Walker, Technical Director at Home Builders Federation, said: “Electrical hazards can pose a serious risk for our network of home builders if the correct processes are not followed. We urge our members to remain cautious when operating near power lines and to follow the advice provided by SP Energy Networks to avoid future incidents.”
 
Ed Evans, Director of CECA Wales, said: “Our civil engineering workers operate in difficult and dangerous environments and their safety is our top priority. We would urge them to take on board this important advice from SP Energy Networks alongside their own rigorous procedures”
 
Jane Wood, Chief Executive at Homes for Scotland, said: “As ongoing supporters of this campaign, the guidance highlighted continues to be a very useful resource to support our members. By collaborating to raise awareness about electrical risks and the ways to avoid them, we can help to save lives.”

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