UK Power Networks are urging trades people to Work Safe, Stay Safe and Think Electricity.
We all know people’s lives can change within seconds. Let’s be honest, it’s something individuals see happen every day on the news. It’s difficult enough when tragedy isn’t self inflicted. But when lives are lost because we’ve been careless or foolhardy, it can make the situation so much worse.
The fact is, there are hidden killers in our midst all the time, and electricity is one of the most deadly. Terrible burns can be inflicted in just a second or two, and getting too close can be fatal. And yet in terms of the working world, In 2015/16 alone, more than 70,000 trade’s people suffered injuries at work. More often, this results in taking time off and losing money. How would this effect you and your family? People in scaffolding, construction, forestry, agriculture, infrastructure or anyone else who may work near overhead lines are particularly at risk.
It can be all too easy for busy trade’s people to be in a hurry, get distracted or not bother to check for service cables when working on site. It’s sometimes easy to get over-confident in our abilities and assume everything is fine, when dangers are clearly lurking. We know electricity is there, but of course most of the time it can’t be seen. There are also certain situations, in which this necessary source of power can take us unawares. Overhead power lines are often uninsulated (bare) and can carry high voltages. They can look like telephone wires, but you should never assume this is the case.
In fact, you should never assume anything. Always be clear on what you’re dealing with and where the dangers can be. Electricity can jump gaps, so be aware a scaffold tube or equipment does not have to touch a power line to result in a serious or lethal electric shock. And despite what you may hear, materials such as rubber and wood may not be an effective insulator against a high or low voltage charge, and cannot be relied upon to prevent an electric shock.
It’s worth remembering cranes, diggers, trucks, excavators, trailers and other plant can make contact with electricity on a regular basis. Anyone working close to live power lines should take time to read the simple safety leaflets and notices provided by a range of health and safety professionals. Many trade associations and bodies (NICEIC, NAPIT, NFU, Gas Safe Register, Road Haulage Association, and lot of others across various industries are working hard to keep safety at the forefront of their members minds.
The UK Power Networks have produced a free downloadable safety leaflet for scaffolders that can be viewed here and a safety video shown below.
The major UK Power Networks distribute our electricity through a series of networks, sub-stations, underground cables and overhead lines. And no matter who your own personal provider may be, electricity is always there for our use. Sadly, accidents are a part of modern life. But in terms of electricity and the damage it can course, we can all ensure they are kept to the very minimum. So always ‘Think Safe’ – ‘Always Think Electricity