Advice to avoid electrical accidents

Representatives from SP Energy Networks will be at Lesmahagow Show this weekend.
Representatives from SP Energy Networks will be at Lesmahagow Show this weekend.

SP Energy Networks will be attending the Lasmahagow Show tomorrow (Saturday) to increase awareness among local farmers and those in the agricultural community of the dangers of working near live electricity and overhead power lines.

As the owner and maintainer of the electricity supply in Central and Southern Scotland, SP Energy Networks is committed to ensuring farmers and agricultural workers know how to stay safe when working near live electricity.

A team from SP Energy Networks will be at the show to provide information and answer questions around staying safe when working near overhead lines or underground cables and what to do in the event of a fallen cable.

Craig Arthur, SP Distribution Director, said: “It’s really important that farmers and agricultural workers are aware of the dangers around electricity and how to keep safe when working near it. Electrical incidents on farms can include anything from operating machinery or equipment too close to power lines, to live cables falling on the ground.

“At SP Energy Networks, we are committed to supporting people in the Lanarkshire community. The Lesmahagow Show is a great opportunity to connect with locals and share our safety through interactive activities. In the event of a power line falling on your land, we would advise taking extreme caution. Power lines can remain live, even if they appear unaffected, so it’s essential to keep people and livestock away, then contact SP Energy Networks via our emergency hotline number.”

Luke Messenger, of the Safety at the Health and Safety Executive, said: “In the UK during 2016/17, three farm workers lost their lives when their vehicles made contact with overhead power lines.

“Every year there are also hundreds of incidents which damage equipment and many more ‘near-misses’. Each incident has the potential to kill or seriously injure the workers involved and each incident is entirely preventable.

“As farm machinery is getting bigger and taller the risk of contact is increasing. The safest option is to avoid working near overhead lines altogether but if this isn’t possible make sure you have properly planned the work and have the right machinery for the job. Choosing machinery that will not reach more than 4m from the ground will greatly reduce the risk.

“Make sure you identify the location of overhead power lines are on your farm and know the safe clearance distances required. You can speak to SP Energy Networks for advice. Then make sure all farm workers and contractors know about the power lines, what they must do to avoid them or reduce the risks, and what action to take if they do contact an overhead power line or find one that is fallen or damaged.”

SP Energy Networks owns and manages overhead and underground powerlines in Southern and Central Scotland as well as Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire. For more information about SP Energy Networks and its services, visit: spenergynetworks.co.uk

In the event of a power outage or incident, please contact the SP Energy Networks emergency hotline by calling 105 or 0800 001 5400.