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Case Studies

The Energy Networks Plant Protection team ultimately aims to eliminate all cable strikes to our network.

The benefits in reducing cable strikes are measurable for ScottishPower customers and contractors alike. Our overriding concern is the potential injuries which could be inflicted on anyone making inadvertent contact with the electricity network and associated apparatus. With the correct processes in place, the risk of electricity related injuries can be greatly reduced.

The Case Studies highlighted are only a small proportion of incidents which occur on our network every year and with all the correct preventive measures in place, contact with the network can be avoided.

However, there are always behavioural factors to consider and in many of these case studies, incorrect decisions by the operatives had a major part to play in the related incident.

Our Case Studies do not account for every given situation which operatives will encounter when excavations take place; however, they will provide an insight into the variety of incidents which take place all too frequently on the network.

Concluding each case study, we recommend the appropriate measures to take into consideration prior to excavations commencing.

Alternative Excavation Techniques (added June 2013)

Alternative Excavation Techniques (added June 2013)

This section highlights alternative technology techniques which could be implemented to increase safety, whilst operating on or adjacent to underground electrical apparatus. Contact with the underground electrical network could lead to serious injuries or death.

Direct Contact with the Underground Electrical Network

Direct Contact with the Underground Electrical Network

This section highlights the hazards which can arise due to implementation of incorrect working processes adjacent to underground electrical apparatus. Contact with the underground electrical network could lead to serious injuries or death.

Working Practices

Working Practices

This section highlights the hazards which can arise due to implementation of incorrect working practices adjacent to electrical apparatus.

Network Information

Network Information

General advisories and information on ScottishPower apparatus.

Damages by Mechanical Plant

Damages by Mechanical Plant

This section deals with cable damages incurred by operatives using excavators and related heavy machinery without complying with HSG47.

Damages by Hand Tools

Damages by Hand Tools

The following section outlines the hazards involved in manual excavation around cables.

Linkboxes / Pillars

Linkboxes / Pillars

This section is intended to raise awareness when working close to ScottishPower network pillars and underground linkboxes.

Hazards Involving Concrete

Hazards Involving Concrete

Working with concrete which contains utility apparatus is a major concern for operatives and contractors. This section aims to provide information on how to proceed if electric cables are present in concrete. The section also deals with installation of lampposts and gulleys which contribute to the problem.

Cable Diversions

Cable Diversions

The vast majority of incidents on the network can be avoided if utility apparatus is diverted before works commence. These images explain the hazards and potential for injury which would easily have been prevented with a diversion.

Marquee Erection

Marquee Erection

Many contractors who undertake construction of tents and marquees are often unaware or assume that no utilities are present. The section will attempt to highlight that electrical apparatus can be found in any location and the necessary requirement for cable records.

Unauthorised Repairs

Unauthorised Repairs

This section will demonstrate the seriousness of a cable damage and the process of making the excavation safe and contacting ScottishPower. Under NO circumstances should an attempt be made to repair a cable.

Private Cables

Private Cables

Operatives should be aware that not all the electricity network is owned and maintained by ScottishPower. Private cables exist in many locations and include old rail / tram cables, private supplies and independent network operators. This section will highlight this situation.

Environmental Hazards

Environmental Hazards

These hazards can range from anything to a damaged oil filled cable to the removal of vegetation with preservation orders. This section will show some of the issues which affected the environment and other parties.

Supporting Cables

Supporting Cables

This section will demonstrate the correct (and incorrect!) methods of supporting electricity apparatus to allow work to commence below the apparatus.

Transmission Apparatus

Transmission Apparatus

Pressures of 132,000 volts to 400,000 volts are termed 'transmission voltages'. Most of this network is served by tower lines, however in some instances they run via underground cables. ScottishPower MUST be informed before works commence anywhere near this apparatus.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Is the last line in defence, to ensure that operatives are adequately protected from the possibility of personal injuries.Operatives have a duty to ensure that all personal protective equipment supplied, is utilised when undertaking the desired works.