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Quick thinkers honoured after preventing serious accident

A quick-thinking team who put their safety training into action to help prevent a digger driver being electrocuted in Essex, have won a safety award.

From Press releases - 6 November 2019 12:00 AM

Award for safety team 2019.jpg

The team from UK Power Networks were declared ‘Stay Safe Stars’ in the company’s annual awards, for their actions when a digger got tangled in live overhead electricity lines at Rochford.

Linesman Chris Murphy, who was working in a ‘cherry picker’, saw a digger on a nearby building site drive into the overhead cables. Tree cutter Rob Anstee, who was on the ground below, said: “Chris started shouting ‘Stop’ then told us to get round there quickly. When I dropped my tools and ran round, we thought we might find a dead person.”

When Rob got to the scene, he saw the digger’s bucket caught up in 11,000 volt overhead wires which could have proved fatal. He said: “I stopped them going anywhere near the wires or the digger and told the driver not to get out or to touch anything.”

Rob said UK Power Networks’ safety training kicked in, as they knew to keep everyone well away and not allow the driver to get out until the power was cut.

“Safety is the number one message in our company and we all worked as a team,” said Rob.

Meanwhile his colleague Oliver Cornett, had made a ‘flash call’ to get the power cut to those lines immediately.

When the area was safe, the driver - who Chris described as “scared” - was able to climb down from his digger. The team then stayed and repaired the overhead lines so that residents in the area could have their power restored as quickly as possible.

Rob said of the award: “It was great to be nominated and then win, we were just putting our safety training into action.”

For more advice about working safely near overhead lines see; https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/internet/en/safety/