The potentially fatal consequences of striking an overhead power line while working in fields are being highlighted in a new farm safety campaign.
As harvest moves into full swing, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has teamed up with the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC) to produce a series of short videos to raise awareness of the dangers of hitting a power line or its wooden pole.
Shetland young farmer Aimee Budge, a safety mentor with SAYFC, is fronting the campaign which the organisations hope will strike a chord with farmers browsing their phones.
SSEN’s operational safety manager, Ian Crawley said: “We want to support our farming communities and help them stay accident-free throughout the year, and with this partnership with the SAYFC we hope we’ll be able to engage with even more farmers and their contractors as we head into what can be the busiest time for many in the industry.”
Advice from SSEN on working near overhead power lines includes
• ‘Look out, look up!’ before you start work in any areas where electricity lines are present.
• Risk assess and be aware of the height of any machinery that will be in use near power 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, 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, for example, if the machinery is affected by fire, it’s 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.