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SP Energy Networks issues street works safety warning


SP Energy Networks today issued a fresh warning to firms who require to dig or drill into the ground as part of their work to be better prepared after a worker hit a power cable while attempting to install street signage.

The incident occurred in Chester last week and the individual, who was working for a third party company, is said to have suffered serious burn injuries as a result.

SP Energy Networks, which owns and operates the power network in the area, today called for any firm carrying out such work to ensure it has plans on site showing cable locations, available for free, as well as equipment which can help them locate, and avoid, power cables.

Jane Wilkie, SP Energy Networks District Manager for the area, said: “Any one digging or excavating should take care to avoid damaging underground services, whether water, gas, telecoms or electricity. Underground electrical cables can be particularly hazardous because they often look like pipes and it is impossible to tell if they are live just by looking at them.

“Damage to underground electrical cables can cause severe injury and even prove fatal so we would always encourage any organisation to take proper precautions and establish a safe system of work, including Locating and identifying buried services, during any excavation.”

Free safety advice and plans of the electricity network are available on the SP Energy Networks website and further guidance is also available online via the Health & Safety Executive site.

Notes to Editors:

  • SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is the licensed Electricity Distributor (DNO) for Central & Southern Scotland and for Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire. We have 30,000 substations (one substation for every 100 customers), 40,000km overhead lines (once around the globe), and 70,000km underground cables.