Overhead power lines
People working close to overhead electricity lines and cables often suffer serious injury and death if the work is not properly controlled. The most common accidents involve a vehicle being driven into power lines or part of a vehicle being raised into them. A lack of training and poor management of the risks cause many of these accidents. The following examples show how easily deaths and serious injuries can occur, but just as importantly, how some straightforward steps could have prevented them from occurring.
The downloadable guidance Avoiding danger from overhead power lines describes how to work safely near overhead power lines in a range of industries. You can also download a free leaflet called Safe working near overhead power lines in agriculture.
- A lorry driver received extensive burns when raising the body of his lorry under an overhead power line.
- A lorry driver was injured when a farmer failed to warn him of a nearby overhead power line.
- A technician received an electric shock from the wires powering an overhead crane.
- A civil engineering contractor died whilst erecting a mobile lighting tower under an overhead power line.
Lack of training
A trainee scaffolder died after handling a scaffold pole under an overhead power line.
Unsafe system of work
Two painters were burnt whilst moving a tower scaffold near a 33,000 volt overhead power line.