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Public safety advice

We’re committed to keeping you safe. Working with HSE, we have set out the industry’s commitment to improving public safety and detailing various initiatives that aim to achieve this.

Our public safety commitment

ENA members and HSE will work in partnership with the aim to reduce the number of incidents, in particular fatalities and injuries, caused to members of the public coming into contact with the gas and electricity transmission and distribution networks.

An analysis of the fatal, injurious and near miss incidents involving the public indicate that the focus areas are (in no particular order of priority):

  1. Accidental contact with Overhead Lines (OHLs); For example incidents involving tippers, material handling equipment, ladders, poles and other long objects, tree climbing/cutting and incidents on public highways, domestic properties, agricultural and forestry land;
  2. Wilful interference (e.g. vandalism, trespass and in particular metal theft);
  3. Damage to underground gas and electricity assets including services to domestic properties;
  4. Asset failures and deterioration (e.g. link box faults);
  5. Fires involving DNO apparatus on consumers’ premises;
  6. Communication with groups most at risk from gas and electricity networks (both OHLs and underground services) and support national campaigns and initiatives to raise awareness of the dangers from activity carried out in the vicinity of gas and electricity networks

Safety guidance and advice

ENA produces the following safety leaflets and guidance to provide advice to support members of the public to manage the risks from coming into contact with the gas and electricity transmission and distribution networks:

  1. Look Out, Look Up
  2. Farmers and agriculture
  3. Electricity around the home
  4. Watch Out Cables About
  5. General trades and maintenance
  6. Leisure activities
  7. Emergency services
  8. Carbon Monoxide

Initiatives and measures to reduce incidents in these focus areas

  • Accidental contact with Overhead Lines (OHLs)

    These include incidents involving tippers, material handling equipment, ladders, poles and other long objects, tree climbing/cutting, incidents on public highways, domestic properties, agricultural and forestry land.

    We will:

    • coordinate and run national campaigns – such as LookOutLookUp! – to reach key target sectors and audiences
    • continually promote ENA's ‘Look Out! Look Up!’ videos with a focus on road haulage and transport companies and farming in the agricultural sector
    • include known public safety considerations, so far as is reasonably practicable, early in the design stage for all new schemes (e.g. new lines, rebuilding or major refurbishment and diversions)
    • ensure that public safety concerns are considered in specific projects
    • make available safety information for landowners and occupiers to increase awareness of the dangers in the vicinity of electrical equipment
    • address activities of those working in proximity to overhead lines and help set out agreed mitigating actions;
    • send information to customers, developers, land owners etc, when they indicate refurbishment of property is likely;
    • will work with HSE, the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) and other key stakeholders to improve awareness in the agricultural sector of the risks of working in the vicinity of electricity networks assets, in particular overhead power lines
    • promote the use of warning labels on mobile plant and work equipment for example Tipper trucks, Loader lorry and Tractor cabs
    • engage with trade associations and training organisations for high risk work activities e.g. crane, mini-digger and tipper lorry drivers and operators
    • engage with equipment manufacturers and operators of equipment to promote safer working near overhead electricity networks and issue industry standard material (i.e. leaflets and cab stickers) to ensure a consistent industry public safety messages are continually communicated
  • Wilful interference

    This includes vandalism, trespass and in particular metal theft.

    We will:

    • manage the Security Incident Reporting System (SIRs) national database to better inform industry action
    • together with our members, continue to support relevant regional and national campaigns
    • continue to host national workshops involving all stakeholders to share best practice on how to manage the issue
  • Damage to underground gas and electricity assets

    This includes services to domestic properties.

    We will:

    • promote ENA public safety videos on the dangers of working in the vicinity of underground gas and electricity assets Watch Out, Cables About! & Think Before You Dig
    • provide safety leaflets, advice and guidance on safe digging practices in and around domestic, commercial and industrial sites
    • promote HSE best practice guidance on avoiding danger from underground services (HSG47)
    • continue to be actively engaged with the work of the Utility Strikes Avoidance Group
    • engage with other utilities, contractors and local government bodies (e.g. TfL, highways agency etc.) to promote safer working near underground electricity network assets
    • work closely with relevant groups to ensure that the public safety implications of the smart meter roll out are fully considered
  • Asset failures and deterioration

    This includes things like link box faults.

    We will:

    • continue to populate the NeDERs database to inform asset owners of any type faults or equipment issues
    • investigate and communicate asset failure issues to manufacturers and Network operators
    • set up working groups to deal with and mitigate any industry wide asset specific issues
  • Fires involving apparatus on consumers’ premises

    We will:

    • undertake fire specific risk assessments where appropriate 
    • engage with and develop industry best practice guidance for the emergency services
  • Communication with groups most at risk from gas and electricity networks

    This includes overhead lines and underground services.

    We will support national campaigns and initiatives to raise awareness of the dangers from activity carried out in the vicinity of gas and electricity networks. We will:

    • promote specific safety information for identified at-risk groups
    • promote carbon monoxide awareness via the Safety Seymour campaign
    • continue to promote safety at public events such as county and trade shows (including events organised with other stakeholders such as Farm Safety Partnership, NFU, HSE, Logistics UK, Road Haulage Association, the construction sector and angling authorities) and in schools
    • support HSE, as necessary, in the revision of guidance for reporting public safety incidents
    • continue to work with relevant organisations, such as Electrical Safety First, to communicate public safety messages
    • promote awareness of the 105 number for use in overhead line emergencies
    • include public safety issues in ENA member companies policies and share best practice