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Farmers urged to stay safe

Electricity safety specialists from UK Power Networks are meeting agricultural workers at a major agricultural show in Kent today, to raise awareness of potential dangers on their land.

From Press releases - 6 March 2019 12:00 AM

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The firm, which delivers electricity to homes and businesses across the South East, East Anglia and London, is encouraging farm workers at Farm Expo 2019 to sign a ‘Be Bright Stay Safe’ pledge to spread the word among colleagues.

Farmers are being shown an emotive video depicting the potential tragic consequences when large agricultural equipment makes contact with a power line.

Ros Forbes, public safety and education adviser at UK Power Networks, said: “Everyone has the right to go home safely after a day’s work. Coming into contact with the electricity network can be fatal so we’re at the show sharing potentially life-saving information with people working in the agricultural industry. We advise people to plan ahead to stay safe and if in doubt, contact us before starting work.”

In 2018 there were 384 incidents across the UK, where machinery and equipment such as tipping trailers, lorry mounted cranes, combine harvesters and telehandlers, made contact with overhead electricity lines.

UK Power Networks campaigns to reduce the number of incidents. Tips to stay safe include:

• Check the location of underground electricity cables and overhead 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
• Be extra careful when ploughing, using irrigation pipes, ladders and combine harvesters
• Look up when loading or unloading vehicles, using tipper wagons, trailers or stacking materials

If the worst happens and your vehicle, equipment or machinery touches or brings down a power line:

• 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 because wires may re-energise without warning
• Assume the cables are live, even if they are not sparking
• Keep everyone away and call UK Power Networks’ on 105 or 0800 3163 105

James Forknall, Kent County Agricultural Society chairman said: “It’s great to have UK Power Networks exhibiting at Farm Expo. The show is about making sure the farming community has access to the latest updates in the industry and farm safety is always an important topic. I’m looking forward to seeing what tips UK Power Networks have so our visitors can stay safe on the farm.”

For detailed guidance for farm workers on how to stay safe near overhead power lines see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk