Overhead line dangers highlighted

A campaign highlighting the dangers lorry drivers face when working near overhead power lines has been launched after research found more than half do not understand the safety requirements.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) said it was “extremely concerning” that so many HGV drivers are putting their lives at risk by not following the correct procedures.

It has launched an information film: Look Out Look Up! targeting professional drivers and explaining the dangers surrounding overhead power lines.

An ENA survey found more than 50% of lorry drivers do not understand the proper safety requirements and only 5% know to call 105 to contact the network operator for incidents involving overhead power lines.

A third (36%) were unaware that electricity can jump small gaps, which can lead to a fatal electric shock.

Furthermore, a similar proportion (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 – which could put you at immediate risk of fatal injury.

David Smith, ENA chief executive said: “It’s extremely concerning to hear that even though lorry drivers are some of the most-at-risk of fatal injury involving an overhead power line, over half do not properly understand when they could be at risk.

“It is vital that they are supported to know how they can stay safe and call 105 immediately if there is an incident.”


Herts crackdown on waste crime

Illegal waste crime was the target of the DVSA and the Environment Agency (EA) in a day of vehicle checks in Hertfordshire.

Police officers supported the initiative, which led to waste carrier checks being conducted on seven lorries in the Broxbourne borough.

Two vehicles were seized for having no road tax and another vehicles that had no valid waste carrier licence and was illegally carrying scrap metal waste was taken off the road by the DVSA.

Chief Inspector Craig Flint, said: “Not only does illegal waste, which can end up dumped indiscriminately, cause a blight on our countryside, there can also be associated criminality, including traffic offences, as well as the detrimental effect on public health.

“Operations like these provide a brilliant opportunity to remind carriers about their responsibilities, enhance our intelligence around such practices and take action against those who flout the rules.”

Mark Nevitt, EA national enforcement service team leader said: “Working with partners such as the police helps us run roadside operations, and the ability to share intelligence around non-compliant waste carriers.

“The Environment Agency wants to make sure businesses carrying waste have the proper authorisations to allow them to transport and transfer rubbish – a waste carrier’s registration from the Environment Agency and waste transfer note from the waste producer.”

Prem Kumar, DVSA vehicle enforcement manager said: “Working closely with the Environment Agency and the police in this way is an efficient way to stop dangerous operators.

“We’ll continue to use intelligence, technology and expert skills to stop illegal operators and keep the roads safer.”