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Man electrocuted

A man using an aerial lift was electrocuted at a sub station in Burwell village Cambridge on Monday,

Steve Kirkup, 41, from Newcastle, was working from a self-propelled aerial lift in the middle of the National Grid substation in Weirs Drove, on the edge of Burwell village, when he received the fatal high-voltage electric shock.

He fell about six metres but it is not clear if he was electrocuted and then fell, or if he fell from the lift and then received the shock.

Paramedics and a helicopter rescue were called to the scene, doctors and the paramedics worked to try and stabilise Kirkup's heart but some 40 minutes after they arrived he was declared dead.

Kirkup was said to be wearing all the right PPE gear, including a safety harness, although it was obviously not attached. It is entirely possible that having touched live cables he thought he would be safer climbing out of the platform?

Kirkup was employed by Siemens Transmission and Distribution, based in Hebburn, and worked all over the country installing and commissioning high voltage electrical equipment in substations.

He has worked for the samer company for over 25 years and was highly experienced.

Vertikal Comment

There have been a number of electrocution accidents lately (around the world) particularly with loader cranes and lifts. The problem appears to be that while training does tend to keep most operators away from overhead lines, on the rare occasion when operators do touch them with a machine, they simply do not know what to do.

In some circumstances, if they would only stay put and try and call for the power to be shut off, they would stand a chance. Perhaps there is a case to add some instruction on what to do if you do come into contact with overhead power lines?