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Harvest Safety

09/09/2019

Power safety advice reminder for agricultural workers completing the harvest.

With the harvest underway across the UK, SP Energy Networks is urging farm workers and agricultural communities to stay safe around the electricity network.

Harvest safety

Twenty-five farms across our network areas have been involved in highly dangerous electricity incidents this year so far, with agricultural machinery hitting overhead powerlines. To keep yourself and others safe whilst completing the harvest, we’re sharing the below tips:

  • Have the national 105 emergency helpline or the SP Energy Networks emergency helpline 0800 001 5400 (Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire and North Wales) or 0800 092 9290 (Central and Southern Scotland) numbers close to hand: keep these saved in the contacts on your mobile phone. If you need to contact us, you have the number there and we can help you as soon as possible.
  • Look out! Look up! When working on farmland near overhead powerlines, be mindful of machinery and its size as it passes underneath, particularly if working with new machinery and bigger equipment.
  • Plan ahead: carefully plan your routes ahead of harvest, including access points and avoid stacking or storing items directly under overhead lines.
  • Map it out: mark up a farm map with routes, operating voltages and approximate heights of overhead power lines running across your land, near boundaries and access routes to fields. Any underground cable routes in or around your land should also be recorded. You can always get in touch with SPEN if you’re unsure about the equipment on and nearby your land.
  • Beware of fallen powerlines: In the event of a powerline falling on your land, we would advise taking extreme caution. Powerlines 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 24/7 emergency hotline number, 105.
  • Tell others about potential hazards: Ensure that you inform staff, contractors and delivery drivers of potential electrical hazards on the farmland before any work begins.

Guy Jefferson, Customer Service Director at SP Energy Networks, said: “We know that harvest time is perhaps the most important time of the year for many of those who make their living through agriculture. As farmers the length and breadth of the country work long hours to gather this year’s harvest, we want to ensure they do so safely.  

"The key thing to remember is to look out and look up. The safety of our customers, including farmers and agricultural workers, is of the very highest importance to us, and we’re pleased to be able to continue to work with agricultural communities to help raise awareness of the dangers surrounding electricity in the farming industry."

SP Energy Networks owns and manages overhead and underground powerlines in Southern and Central Scotland, Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire.

If you are in any doubt about the dangers of electricity please contact us.

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