Pavement ‘explosions’ putting lives at risk

UK Power Networks, the company responsible for running and maintaining the power cables in London and the South East, must do more to ensure that old and unsafe cabling and equipment was replaced before it became dangerous, as new figures reveal almost 80 incidents in London in the last five years.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that between February 2010 and February 2015 there were 199 incidents where link boxes or cable pits failed – the prime cause of most pavement explosions. 77 of these incidents were deemed to be ‘disruptive’ which is described by the HSE as “involving fire, explosion and/or the involvement of the fire service.”

This is the equivalent of more than one disruptive incident every month over the five year period. Around half of the incidents occurred last year, with over 40 ‘disruptive’ incidents reported in 2014 alone. This comes despite HSE stating that they stepped up inspections in April last year.

The explosions are generally caused by electrical faults with underground electrical equipment (primarily link boxes or cable pits) due to poor maintenance of the network. UK Power Networks and South Eastern Power, who are responsible for the maintenance of electrical equipment, should be “doing everything possible to crack down” on dangerous equipment failures.

This is a company which made almost two hundred million pounds profit last year. It shouldn’t be too much to ask for them to invest a little of that in overhauling their aging electricity supply network and stepping up inspections.

ally caused by electrical faults with underground electrical sdsfor the maintenance of electrical equipment, should be “doing everything possible to crack down” on dangerous equipment failures.

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About nickygavron

Former Deputy Mayor for London, London Assembly Member, Chair of Planning Committee, and Labour Spokesperson for Planning
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