Cable Strikes | 11kV Depot Cable Strike

Published 18 May 2021


Cable Strikes

Utility Strike Avoidance Group

USAG have published a range of documents to assist industry understanding of the root cause and contributory factors behind specific incidents. The aim is to improve industry standards and reduce the number of cable strikes.

Cable damage is often caused by excavating machines – hand held tools such as pneumatic drills, crowbars, pins, picks and forks also expose workers to potential sources of danger when digging around underground cables.

Cable Strikes | How To Support LV to 33kV Electricity Cables

Cable Hangers | Cable Ducting | Cable Protection | Electrical Safety Equipment

Incident Overview

11kV Depot Cable Strike

Issued to: All Network Rail line managers, safety professionals and RISQS registered contractors.

Ref: NRB 18/18

Date of issue: 05/12/2018

Location: Holgate Depot York

On the 15/11/18 at 11:30 hours an electrical contractor received burn injuries due to an electrical high voltage arc flash over while working in the depot. The Injured Person (IP) suffered burns to their left forearm and right hand which required hospitalisation and ongoing medical treatment.

The incident occurred when the IP was cutting into redundant cables using a power tool to remove them. The electrical cables being cut were considered “dead” as an agreed isolation was in place; however this was not the case and during the works the 11kV cable strike occurred.11kV Cable Strike

Discussion Points

While the incident is under investigation we should all consider the dangers when working on or near high voltage cables:

  • Has your task been thoroughly planned?
  • Have the survey and records accurately captured all electrical conductors?
  • Have the safety arrangements been reviewed by a competent person?
  • Has all necessary safety information including permits and isolations been included in the Work Package Plan and Task Briefing Sheet?
  • Are the briefing arrangements in place to ensure workers have and understand how to keep themselves and others safe?
  • How do you make sure that you and your colleagues comply with the Life Saving Rule of “always test before touch”?

Protecting Cables Against Strikes & Restoring Power Post-Strike

Thorne & Derrick have been distributors for 3M Electrical since 1985 and can provide a range of reliable and easy to install Cable Repair Products – this includes Scotch Tapes, Scotchcast Joints and Cold Shrink Tubes to provide effective re-instatement of cable sheath jackets on all types of LV MV HV cables in onshore and offshore locations with safe or hazardous area workplace classifications.

Cable Repair Products

Cable Repair Products

Our range of cable protection covers manufactured by Centriforce provide underground utility protection of LV MV HV cables including Tapetile (11kV) and Stokbord (33kV 66kV 132kV) – contact us to discuss Cable Damage Prevention Products including Dectamesh, the underground detectable warning tape for alerting excavators of the presence of buried cables and to prevent potentially lethal accidents during excavation.

Stokbord Cable Covers from Centriforce provide heavy duty, high impact, underground cable protection for fibre optic, low voltage, high voltage (11kV, 22kV, 33kV, 66kV) and extra high voltage (132kV-400kV) power cable networks.


Tapetile cable warning tape manufactured by Centriforce is rolled out into the cable trench for quick and easy protection of low voltage, high voltage, street lighting and underground electricity cables up to 11kV.


Thorne & Derrick International