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SPEN and North Wales Police launch Farm Safety Campaign

12/08/2016

Campaign urges farmers and farm workers to stay safe following spate of incidents

We have recently announced that we will be renewing our partnership with North Wales Police for a second year, urging farmers and farm workers in North Wales to stay safe when working near overhead power lines following a recent spate of incidents in the area.

The number of incidents reported to us relating to fallen power lines on agricultural land in North Wales continues to rise, increasing by 58% in the period April 2015 to March 2016, compared with the same period the previous year. Since April 2016, a total of 18 incidents have already been recorded. While the majority of these incidents are caused by power lines falling as a result of adverse weather conditions, they can also be caused by accidental contact with overhead power lines.

We own, manage and maintain more than 5,300km of underground cable and more than 7,500km of overhead lines, supplying electricity to 234,000 customers across North Wales, and attended the 2016 Anglesey Show to raise awareness of our vital safety messages as well as offering safety advice to the local agricultural community.

Over the two days of the Anglesey Show, which took place on the 9 and 10 August at the showground near Gwalchmai, we hosted a series of dramatic pyrotechnic displays to highlight the potentially devastating consequences of machinery colliding with an overhead power line.

Even when power lines are brought down they can remain live, and we are encouraging farmers to be aware of ways to minimise risk and to know the precautions to take in the event of a power emergency.

Stephen Stewart, Director at SP Energy Networks said: “We are delighted to have the support of North Wales Police in helping to spread our safety message. As we approach harvest and farmers begin to work increasingly long days, and often late into the night, it is crucial for them to be aware of the hazards that working in close proximity to overhead lines can present. By showcasing the risks through our pyrotechnics display, we hope we can help workers be informed and to stay safe.”

PC Dave Allen from North Wales Police’ Rural Crime Team said: “We are delighted to be supporting SP Energy Networks’ campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of overhead powerlines. We work closely with rural communities across North Wales and know too well the dangers that are posed to the farming community by these powerlines.”

Guidance on working safely near overhead power lines can be found here.

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