The number of electric cable breaks during construction work is increasing

Builders have been warned to prioritize electrical safety after data showed the scale of cable damage incidents linked to construction work.

Data from electricity distributor UK Power Networks, which covers London, the South East and East of England, highlights that 23% of cable damage incidents in 2021 were for construction work, which was the highest incidence rate among trades.

UK Power Networks coverage covers over 8 million businesses and homes in the region.

He warned that construction workers could be seriously injured when carrying out construction activities related to cables or when using equipment such as lifting equipment, ladders, pneumatic drills and other hand tools. hand.

UK Power Networks safety adviser Ros Forbes said: “Working as a builder near our networks, whether underground cables, overhead lines or power substations, can expose employers and employees at risk of serious injury if the risks are not properly addressed.”

Federation of Master Builders chief executive Brian Berry said construction sites are “hazardous environments,” especially where live wires are present. He urged builders to keep up to date with the latest safety guidelines on working around live wires.

UK Power Networks reiterated that it was essential for builders to plan ahead for site cable safety. Other recommendations included clearly marking cables, using cable detectors on walls and roofs, disconnecting cables before demolition work, and communicating with colleagues about the location of cables.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, which regulates workplace safety in the UK, three construction workers died from handling electricity between April and December 2021. It was the second leading cause of death, after falls from height.

Alice F. Ponder