Lorry drivers told to 'Look Out Look Up!'

Land Transport

Source: Roadway Live, 2019-08-12

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has launched its Look Out Look Up! campaign to help reduce the number fatalities amongst lorry drivers as a result of collision with overhead power lines.
Their release reads:

Over the past 10 years, half of all collisions with overhead power lines have involved a lorry-type vehicle and a quarter of all fatalities from overhead power lines involved a lorry driver – and it’s because they don’t know the safety advice.

 On average, one person dies or is injured each month from contact with an overhead power line
 Research reveals road haulage workers (particularly those making deliveries with tippers, lorry mounted cranes or grab arms) are some of the most at risk of fatal electric shocks from overhead power lines
 Over half (50%) of lorry drivers do not know all the proper safety requirements for working near overhead power lines
 Lorry drivers make up over a quarter (26%) of fatalities from overhead power lines

New research from Energy Networks Association (ENA) reveals lorry drivers do not know how to avoid fatal injuries when working near overhead power lines.

The research is released alongside a newly launched film highlighting the dangers of overhead power lines and a call for workers to familiarise themselves with safety advice and call 105 if an incident occurs.

On average, one person dies or is injured each month as a result of contact with overhead power lines. Data from the Health & Safety Executive shows that one in four of these cases (26%) will involve a lorry driver, making road haulage workers at extreme risk of fatal injury in the workplace.

Despite this threat to life, ENA found that over 50% of lorry drivers do not understand the proper safety requirements for working near overhead power lines.

Only 5% know to call 105 to contact the network operators for incidents involving overhead power lines. In fact, more people (7.6%) think you should call 911 – the American emergency services – if you’ve been involved in a collision.

In addition, a third of lorry drivers (36%) did not know electricity can jump small gaps which can cause a potentially fatal electric shock.

Overhead power lines have the capacity to carry voltages anywhere between 230 volts (domestic voltage) up to 400,000 volts. Even domestic voltage can be fatal and high voltage electricity can jump gaps meaning you don’t have to be in direct physical contact with a conductor to experience a fatal electric shock.

Furthermore, almost a third of lorry drivers (35%) believe the best thing to do when involved in a collision with an overhead power line is to exit the vehicle and call for help, when exiting the vehicle can actually put you at immediate risk of fatal injury.

When a vehicle or piece of machinery touches an overhead power line, it acts as a conductor passing the high voltage electricity through it. If you were to then exit your vehicle, keeping contact with it while your feet also touch the ground this voltage would pass through you, certainly causing serious injury and, in most cases, death.

To help prevent the number of fatalities amongst lorry drivers, the ENA has launched a new Look Out Look Up!  film targeting those working within the industry. The thought-provoking film explores the journey of two road haulage workers carrying out a job near overhead power lines that results in a fatal accident.

As well as showcasing the dangers of working near overhead power lines, the film also reveals the devastating affects these accidents can have on friends and family.

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