Working outside or doing DIY in the garden carries hidden dangers that can result in life-changing injury and even death, warns Western Power Distribution (WPD).
In an incident in Crediton, Devon in 2020, the driver of a tipper lorry died after his vehicle made contact with an overhead powerline.
Before starting work outside, people often forget to look out for overhead power lines attached to poles and pylons, or cables and wires above their heads, sometimes with terrible consequences, according to WPD, the electricity distribution operator for the South West.
These electrical hazards may be out of sight, hidden in bushes and trees or even mistaken for harmless telephone cables.
Every year, WPD is called out to incidents in which members of the public have been injured or worse while working close to electrical equipment, such as power lines.
Eddie Cochrane, Health and Safety Adviser at WPD, said: “It’s vital that people take notice of these hidden dangers because coming into contact with them can be fatal.
“If you’re using ladders, going up scaffolding or using tools to reach high places, when cleaning gutters or trimming high hedges, you need to be aware of what’s around you. Look out and look up for hidden dangers. Let’s get the job done safely.”
People are urged to plan in advance and to contact WPD for advice, if they are working close to, or have any concerns about, electrical equipment.
In an emergency, call 105 and keep everybody clear. For more information on how to stay safe around electricity, visit WPD’s safety pages at Western Power Distribution