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Northern Powergrid supports Farm Safety Week as it enters tenth year

Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the electricity network that powers everyday life for 8 million customers across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is supporting this year’s Farm Safety Week (18 to 22 July) by encouraging farmers and farm workers to ‘Look Up it’s Live’ and make sure 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 and 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 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 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 using our free safety packs.”

Northern Powergrid’s free safety packs, which contain a safety advice leaflet, a cab sticker and an air freshener with lifesaving emergency advice on what to do if you come into contact or too close to power lines, are available by visiting northernpowergrid.com/safety or by emailing safety.information@northernpowergrid.com.

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

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.

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