Northern Powergrid, the company that powers everyday life for 8 million people across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is supporting this year’s Farm Safety Foundations’ Farm Safety Week (20 – 24 July) and encouraging the farming community to recognise the very real dangers of working in the industry - focussing on the risks of working near power lines.
The electricity distributor’s Look Up It's Live campaign reminds farmers to stay safe and stay away from power lines, as well as providing potentially life-saving information about what to do in an emergency, if they come too close to or hit power lines.
Northern Powergrid Director of Health, Safety and Environment, Geoff Earl, said: “Agriculture may have the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK but there are signs that this is improving and we want to be part of this change. It’s in all our interest to take safety seriously.
“Cables on wooden poles can carry voltages of up 132,000 volts and it vital that farmers, and farm workers, are aware of where power lines are on their land when working and fully risk access each and every time they use machinery near our equipment. Electricity can jump gaps so it important to remember that you don’t need to make contact to risk a fatal electric shock.
“On average someone dies every year after their vehicle or plant comes into contact, or too close, to overhead power lines. Anyone driving agricultural vehicles should be extra vigilant and carry a mobile phone at all times and store 105, the number to call in an emergency.
“We’re asking farmers to refresh themselves on our simple safety advice and spread the word to colleagues and seasonal workers. They can get our free in-cab safety stickers and air fresheners by visiting northernpowergrid.com/safety or by emailing email@example.com.”
Northern Powergrid is encouraging farmers to request their free safety packs, which contain copies of safety advice leaflets, a cab sticker and an air freshener, all have potentially lifesaving advice on what to do if you come into contact or too close to power lines.
Staying safe near power lines
- Inform anyone working near power lines of the dangers and the action they should take in an emergency.
- Remember you don’t need to make contact with a power line to be in danger. Electricity can jump to an object or person – so stay well clear!
- Ground levels may have changed since your last visit, reducing clearance. Risk assess every situation, on every occasion.
- Always carry a mobile phone and store 105, the number to call in an emergency.
What to do in an emergency
- Drive well clear if safe to do so and call 105.
- If unsafe to drive clear – stay in the cab, call 105, and warn others to stay clear.
- If unsafe to stay in cab – jump well clear. Do not step down or make contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time.
- Leaping strides – Land with both feet together and make leaping strides away, so that one foot is always off the ground.
- Warn others to stay clear. Damaged power lines can stay live or become live at any time without warning.
Visit northernpowergrid.com/safety to find out more about staying safe and to order the company’s free safety pack.