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Electrical safety message for farmers at Duxford event as harvest approaches

UK Power Networks teams will be on hand at Cereals 2018 in Duxford starting next week to urge farmers to take care around electrical equipment.

From Press releases - 8 June 2018 12:00 AM


As the harvest season approaches, the power company will launch its ‘Look out, Look up’ campaign for this year at the arable farming industry event on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 June.

The message for agricultural workers will be to appreciate the dangers and take extra care when working close to power lines at one of the farming calendar’s busiest times of the year.

Agriculture can be a dangerous profession and accidental contact with overhead power lines is one of the hazards farmers face when they’re working outdoors, particularly when they’re tired.

Farming machinery has become bigger and taller over the years and dangers can occur during ploughing, using irrigation pipes and ladders, loading or unloading vehicles, using combine harvesters, tipper wagons or trailers in fields and stacking materials.

UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity across the East of England, London and the South East, is asking farmers and agricultural workers to be vigilant when working out in the fields.

Education adviser Ros Forbes said: “Electricity is very useful but also potentially dangerous and an electric shock can result in life-changing injuries or even death.

“Our main advice is to always be extra vigilant and have a good look up and around to see what power lines are around you. When you’re tired and engrossed in your work it can be easy to miss the hazards before it’s too late.

“Being at Cereals again is a fantastic way for us to personally meet farmers and agricultural workers in huge numbers and deliver a safety message which could one day save their life provided they take simple precautions.”

Useful tips:

• Check the location of underground electricity cables and overhead electricity power lines on your land
• Contact UK Power Networks for plans showing where electrical equipment is and add it to your farm map
• Tell visitors, contractors or casual workers about the presence of electricity cables and lines
• Look up when loading or unloading vehicles, using tipper wagons, trailers or stacking materials
• Be extra careful when ploughing, using irrigation pipes, ladders and combine harvesters

If the worst happens and a vehicle, equipment or machinery either contacts or brings down a power line, UK Power Networks advises farm workers to:

• Stay in the cab and if you can use your mobile, ring 999
• Warn others to stay well clear
• If you need to get out of the cab, jump well clear so no contact is made between you, the vehicle and the ground at the same time
• Never touch the vehicle once you are on the ground and run well clear
• Do not return to the vehicle, wires may re-energise without warning
• Assume the cables are live, even if they are not sparking
UK Power Networks’ 24hr emergency helpline is 105 or 0800 3163 105.

The company has published detailed guidance for farm workers on how to stay safe near overhead power lines on leaflets and offers free vehicle stickers which can both be requested via its website

‘Look out, Look up’ is part of a national public safety campaign by the Energy Networks Association (ENA).

The ENA website hosts a video illustrating the dangers which can be viewed at:].