11 Apr 2024

Greater Manchester

Man dices with death after being found in electricity substation with ladders

Electricity North West engineers with a danger of death sign

A stark warning has been issued by power network operator Electricity North West after a man was found in a high voltage electricity substation with a metal ladder.

The incident happened last month in Stockport as engineers were called to the substation on Banks Lane after reports of a cat being on the roof. 

Upon arrival, engineers found a local resident in one of its high-voltage electricity substations with a set of ladders, trying to access the roof. 

The resident, who was trespassing and risking his life, was asked to leave immediately and reminded of the dangers of being close to powerful electrical assets. The cat left of its own accord. 

Paul Killilea, Electricity North West’s asset and investment director, said: “Each year, we receive hundreds of requests for us to retrieve balls, Frisbees and other things that have landed in the grounds of substations.

“It is never a problem for our teams to do that and we encourage people to call us rather than illegally enter our substations themselves. It was a surprise to learn in this case that somebody had taken metal ladders into the grounds of a substation to retrieve an animal, whilst this may be tempting, we urge people never to do this.

“Our teams require special training, electrical authorisation and protective equipment to enter substations and they undergo years of training to ensure they stay safe. Fortunately, on this occasion, nobody came to any harm, but it could have easily been so different.”

Electricity North West is also urging parents and guardians to warn their youngsters about the dangers of playing around with powerful electricity equipment. And to look out for dangers themselves.

With many more people venturing outdoors, Electricity North West is calling on people to take note of its overhead lines, electricity substations and yellow ‘danger of death’ signs and stay clear of the power network.

People are warned not to use items equipment such as kites or long tent poles near overhead lines as electricity can jump from the lines and travel down directly to the person holding them, causing serious injury or even worse. Anglers are asked to look out for overhead lines when casting and if people lose a ball or Frisbee in a substation, they are urged not to retrieve it.

Anybody who sees anything dangerous in or around the power network can call Electricity North West on 105. For more safety advice, including a safety game for kids, go to www.enwl.co.uk/safety.