Northern Powergrid, responsible for eight million electricity customers across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is supporting this year’s Farm Safety Week by encouraging farmers and farm workers to ‘Look Up it’s Live’ and make sure that they stay safe when working near overhead power lines.
Gareth Pearson, Northern Powergrid’s head of Health, Safety and Training, said: “We’re supporting Farm Safety Week in its tenth year by reminding the farming community of the very real dangers of working near power lines. At Northern Powergrid safety is our number one priority. We want to use the week as an opportunity to prompt anyone working on or near agricultural land to be extra vigilant of overhead power lines and make sure they know what to do in an emergency.
“Our cables, on wooden poles, can carry voltages of up to 132,000 volts and it’s 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 is 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 attentive, 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 using our free safety packs.”
The company is offering free safety packs, containing an advice leaflet, a cab sticker and an air freshener with lifesaving emergency advice on what to do if you come into contact, or get too close, to power lines. These are available at www.northernpowergrid.com
Staying safe near power lines
- Inform anyone working near power lines of the dangers, and the action that they should take in an emergency;
- Electricity can jump to an object or person, so you do not need to make contact to be in danger. 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 clear of the danger 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 the cab, jump well clear. Do not step down or make contact with the vehicle and ground at the same time;
- Use leaping strides to get away from the machine. Land with both feet together and make leaping strides so that one foot is always off the ground;
- Warn others to stay clear; damaged power lines can stay live or become live without warning.