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Frying tonight ! 11,000 volt frazzle !


There was I, minding my own business thinking engineering thoughts, when I heard someone yelling for help !

Coming out of the workshop I heard this chap, who was straddling the ridge of the Water Pumping Station next door yelling rather loudly. Also there was a rather nasty smell of burning in the air. At this point I noticed that the Cherry Picker that had got him up there in the first place had come to rest TOUCHING the 11KV three phase line that crosses their property into ours and there was a chap still on the cherry picker, amazingly still alive :bugeye:

Now I  had come across this pair of chaps earlier in the day while pig  feeding, when they had erroneously wandered into the farm yard hoping to gain access to the Water Pumping Station. I'd re-directed them to the very clearly marked gate a little down the road. so obviously not the sharpest knives in the canteen  :ddb:

Not sure what they were supposed to be doing, but I'd heard a petrol driven cut off saw running and a concrete breaker, and seen them poking a cable through a hole in the roof.

Now it just so happens I keep UK Power Networks Emergency number on my mobile phone, so I called them and sent the poor girl on the other end into apoplexy as I described the scene.

We derive our single phase from this 11 KV line via a big pole mounted transformer, so I was expecting our power to be cut any minute,
and it was lunch time and I wanted eggs on toast! So rather than discuss his life history I left the chap still up the cherry picker (plonker - he drove it!) and got the toaster fired up  :lol:

Sure enough not very many minutes later, accompanied by sirens and flashing light, a fire engine turns up and thankfully gets the right gate and doesn't barge right through mine, and rescues both chaps.

I notice that the cherry picker is still there swathed in hazard tape, and no doubt lots of people are filling lots of forms to explain away the occurrence.

There is an isolator between our 3 phase feed, and this line (a 're-closer') - it must have tripped as we never did get cut off, but it seems half the village did !

No pictures I'm afraid - didn't seem appropriate at the time  :clap:

Carry on Screaming - One of my favourite films.

Very lucky guys by the sounds of it. My mate works for National Grid and he told me that people who get those kind of shocks and live invariably wish they hadn't.

Hi All
There have been many fatalities when cherry pickers or other machinery or tipper trucks contact overhead lines :bugeye:

On lots of occasions the person jumps clear and survives only to get electrocuted when they try and climb back into the cab of the vehicle that has made contact with the overhead lines
The vehicle tyres act as insulators, so the vehicle body is still live and has not tripped out the HV line protection

Andrew, clearly those workers were not trained properly ?  Their employers will get it in the neck or if they were trained and ignored the training and safe work practices they will be signing on real soon

Your story could be a report on yet another worker fatality, no matter how "thick"  they are they have families who would mourn them !!!


Not surprisingly the site was swarming with brand new shiny high vis yellow coats this morning - you can always tell the office chaps from the workers by the state of their coats ! There were eight of ten of them from the Water Board, their safety consultants, and the contractors who were doing the job.

Seems that the chap up the cherry picker has survived with nothing worse than injured pride. The smell of burning that I noticed yesterday was the tyres on the cherry picker - lucky that they lasted long enough for him to be got down.

Turns out that ironically they were installing a lightning conductor along the ridge of the building.


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