We're supporting a new campaign that aims to reduce the number of fatalities amongst lorry drivers working in the construction and road haulage industries by encouraging them to "Look Out Look Up!"
On average, one person dies or is seriously injured each month as a result of contact with overhead power lines. One in four of these cases will involve a lorry driver, meaning construction and road haulage workers at extreme risk of fatal injury in the workplace.
Despite this threat to life, over 50% of lorry drivers do not understand the proper safety requirements for working near overhead power lines and only 5% know to call 105 to contact the network operators for incidents involving these lines.
In addition, a third of lorry drivers did not know electricity can jump small gaps which can cause a potentially fatal electric shock, while almost a third of lorry drivers believe the best thing to do when involved in a collision with an overhead power line is to exit the vehicle and call for help.
To help reduce the number of fatalities amongst lorry drivers, we’re joining forces with other UK energy network operators to launch Look Out Look Up!
As part of the campaign, a new, thought-provoking video has been released targeting those working in construction and road haulage. Check it out below:
In addition to the Look Out Look Up! film, we’re also supporting a new set of life-saving safety guidelines targeted towards lorry drivers whose work may take place near overhead power lines.
Read more below:
How to stay safe working near overhead power lines
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.
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.
If an incident occurs, contact your network operator by calling the national 24-hour emergency number 105