Winter warning to hauliers

11 December 2022

THE COUNTRY'S biggest electricity distributor has launched a powerful new winter safety drive aimed at saving the lives of road hauliers.

UK Power Networks has joined forces with the Road Haulage Association to promote safe working procedures near overhead power lines and reduce the risk of serious accidents.

With the darker winter evenings another potential danger, the company is cautioning that contact with overhead power lines can result in life changing injuries or even death. Powerlines can be harder to spot in poor light conditions.

Workers operating tipper trailers, grab lorries or skip hire vehicles must know where the electricity network is before they start work. Distractions, visiting unfamiliar sites, long working days and rushing to get the job done can all impact on safety.

The number of incidents involving hauliers has reduced in the past year, but they remain involved in 15% of contact with powerlines in London, the South East and East of England and, unlike the previous 12 months, there was one reported injury.

Pete Short, head of business development for the Road Haulage Association said, “Working around overhead power lines can be extremely hazardous so we encourage operators to make sure their drivers and other relevant colleagues are familiar with this guidance to help keep people safe.”

Ros Forbes, a safety advisor at UK Power Networks which owns and runs overhead electricity networks across the East and South East of England said, “Everyday distractions mean it can be easy to lose focus of our environment and the potential hazards around us.

“Taking a moment to assess the job we are doing and carry out your own checks can give you that time to step back, re-evaluate and ensure you work safely. We have seen a fall incidents, but we have had a serious injury this year which we didn’t have last year.        

“We urge hauliers to stay safe by ensuring that mandatory checks for power lines becomes part of their everyday routine when operating vehicles or machinery.”