8 November 1996

Detector warns of high voltage power cables overhead

FIVE people are killed each year in accidents involving overhead power lines, reports the Health and Safety Executive.

Machinery, such as tipping trailers, combine harvesters, telescopic loaders and sprayers with vertically folding booms are the most often involved, with 60% of accidents being fatal.

A warning system now available from Beds-based Wire Watcher could, in some circumstances, be a life-saver. Designed to detect the presence of high voltage overhead cables by sensing the electromagnetic field which surrounds them, the Wire Watcher 2 device warns the operator via a visual display in the cab.

As the vehicle moves closer the electromagnetic field increases causing the control box to lock on to the signal once a pre-set distance from the cable has been reached. A two-colour display indicates high-level or normal sensitivity which can, if required be backed up by an audible siren.

Wire Watcher 2, which can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, costs £500.n

This truck-mounted overhead cable detector could also be fitted in a combine, telescopic handler or sprayer.