Warning after worker hits power cable

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A contractor had a lucky escape when he struck an underground electric cable while working on a customer’s driveway.

Although they suffered a slight electric shock when the incident occurred in Bonnybridge’s High Street on Monday, it could have been much worse.

SP Energy Networks today issued a fresh warning to firms who require to dig or drill into the ground as part of their work to be better prepared

The utility company, which owns and operates the power network in the area, called for any firm carrying out such work to ensure it has plans on site showing cable locations, available for free, as well as equipment which can help them locate, and avoid, power cables.

Ewan McMillan, SP Energy Networks district manager for the area, said: “Anyone digging or excavating should take care to avoid damaging underground services, whether water, gas, telecoms or electricity.

Underground electrical cables can be particularly hazardous because they often look like pipes and it is impossible to tell if they are live just by looking at them.

“In this instance the worker was extremely lucky. Damage to underground electrical cables can cause severe injury and even prove fatal so we would always encourage any organisation to take proper precautions and establish a safe system of work, including locating and identifying buried services, during any excavation.”

Free safety advice and plans of the electricity network are available on the SP Energy Networks website and further guidance is also available online via the Health & Safety Executive site.