Angling is generally safe but serious or fatal injuries have come from contacting overhead electric power lines. Longer carbon fibre fishing poles have been a factor in some of these incidents.
Types of incidents reported include burns, major injuries and deaths. Inspections suggest many more minor or near miss incidents are not reported so not included in accident figures.
In recent years, numbers of incidents have been reduced, mainly by campaigns supported by the electricity industry, angling groups, landowners and the tackle trade.
But still, every year, fishing line is found hanging from overhead electric power lines with no report of incident or injury.
ENA's angling and overhead power line working group produced a guidance document in October 2005:
This Guide is NOT intended to be used by individuals as a guide to safe clearances. It is only to be used by Angling Clubs and landowners working in association with the overhead line owner.
The document has been written to support the process of risk assessment, detailed in the ENA Angler Safety document “Managing Risks Associated with Angling in Close Proximity to Overhead Electric Power Lines”, carried out by land owners and users, which permits the use of site specific risk assessments to reduce the historical default exclusion distance of 30 metres from overhead electric power lines.
It is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a free standing document.
The group also published three flyers to raise awareness of the risks when angling in close proximity to overhead electric power lines:
Please download and use these documents; they are provided free of charge. However, they remain © Energy Networks Association and must not be altered in any way. The Safety, Health & Environment (SHE) team would appreciate you letting us know where and how they are being used - please send any feedback to Richard Le Gros, [email protected].