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Overhead Lines

This safety advice is for anyone working in close proximity to overhead power lines.

Unfortunately around five people each year die due to accidental contact with overhead powerlines. This ranges from machine and plant operators, HGV’s coming into contact with overhead lines, and extendable tools such as window cleaning equipment and hedge cutters. It is important to follow the HSE guidance document GS6 (linked on this page) and always carry out a risk assessment before work starts.



Tips for staying safe -

  • Always plan ahead including selecting correct machinery to minimise the risk of accidental overhead line contact.
  • Plan your routes to avoid crossing under overhead lines where possible.
  • Plan storage areas carefully, never stack anything underneath overhead lines.
  • Take extra care when working in the dark, overhead lines can be hard to spot.
  • Ask SP Energy Networks to provide you with plans of the overhead lines on your land and mark the routes on a map.
  • If you are working alone, always carry a mobile phone in case you need to contact the emergency services.
  • Know the height of your machinery and the height of the overhead lines you are crossing under.
  • Ensure that your staff and contractors on your land are aware of the GS6 guidance and understand the routes to be taken.
  • Always assume overhead lines are live, even if they are broken or touching earth.
  • If your machinery does come into contact with an overhead line, stay in the vehicle until SP Energy Networks or the Emergency services arrive on site.

Additional Information



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