Farmers reminder to put safety first

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) is issuing a fresh warning to Deeside and Donside farmers to put safety first, as the 2012 harvesting campaign gets underway.

With nights drawing in and some farmers still working late into the evening, it is imperative operatives remember to check the whereabouts of overhead lines, not just in their fields, but around the roads and tracks they use to access them.

In some cases, machines such as combine harvesters/forklifts can reach heights of up to 7m when their equipment is fully extended, and with darkness falling much earlier, and operatives getting tired, it can be very easy to miss obstacles such as powerlines or electricity poles.

Ken Miara, operations manager for the North-east of Scotland said: “What many people forget is that electricity can jump through the air, so it’s crucial that anyone operating agricultural equipment is aware of the optimum height they can open their equipment at and be aware of where overhead lines are situated before they move on to the next field.”

For more information and a free safety sticker for the cabs of agricultural vehicles, visit: www.ssepd.co.uk.