Farm­ers urged to ‘look out’ for over­head lines

Argyllshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

A SCOT­TISH and South­ern Elec­tric­ity Net­works, (SSEN) safety cam­paign is call­ing for farm­ers to ‘look out, look up!’ when work­ing near over­head power lines and poles.

Across its elec­tric­ity net­works SSEN wants to high­light the pos­si­ble dan­gers faced by the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try as farm­ers and con­trac­tors ap­proach the busiest months of their year. It is shar­ing prac­ti­cal ad­vice with the farm­ing com­mu­nity in a bid to help them avoid in­ci­dents and ac­ci­dents re­lated to power sup­plies.

Last year, SSEN recorded more than 780 in­ci­dents on agri­cul­tural land across its in­fra­struc­ture where third-par­ties came into con­tact with poles, over­head lines and ca­bles, cut­ting off lo­cal elec­tric­ity sup­plies and hav­ing the po­ten­tial to cause se­ri­ous in­jury, or worse, to those in­volved.

To en­sure that farm­ers and their teams are armed with the knowl­edge they need to stay safe in the field this sum­mer and be­yond, SSEN is is­su­ing the fol­low­ing ad­vice: ‘Look out, look up!’

Be­fore start­ing work in any ar­eas where elec­tric­ity lines are present; risk as­sess and be aware of the height of ma­chin­ery that will be in use near lines and en­sure there’s plenty of clear­ance – re­mem­ber that elec­tric­ity can ‘jump’ if an ob­ject comes near enough; if you do come in to con­tact with an over­head line or ca­ble, stay in your cab or ve­hi­cle and try to avoid touch­ing any­thing metal within it; call 105 im­me­di­ately – this is the UK-wide sin­gle emer­gency num­ber for power com­pa­nies and is the quick­est way to put you through to the cor­rect net­work op­er­a­tor; if the sit­u­a­tion is too dan­ger­ous to stay put, i.e. if the ma­chin­ery is af­fected by fire, then it is ad­vised that you leap out of the ve­hi­cle as high and as far as you can to avoid touch­ing any part of the ma­chin­ery or elec­tric­ity net­work.

Richard Gough, head of safety, health and en­vi­ron­ment (net­works) ex­plains: ‘The ‘look out, look up!’ mes­sage en­cour­ages any­one work­ing in the field to take stock of their sur­round­ings and the over­head lines that may run across or into the land, as our ru­ral land­scape changes by the sea­son.

‘Trees and hedgerows may have grown since the last time you checked and now ob­scure the nearby lines, in­tense heat in the sum­mer can cause lines to sag slightly and work­ing with dif­fer­ent styles or heights of ma­chin­ery may bring you closer to the lines than in pre­vi­ous years.

‘Al­ways take the op­por­tu­nity to risk as­sess be­fore any work be­gins; strik­ing a pole or com­ing into con­tact with elec­tri­cal equip­ment can have se­ri­ous and po­ten­tially lethal con­se­quences for those in­volved.

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on stay­ing safe when work­ing near power lines can be found at http://www.ssen. Safe­tyLeaflets

Farm­ers are be­ing urged to avoid power lines.

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