SSEN encourages farmers to look up and look out for power lines

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Farmers in the North East are being urged to be extra careful when working near overhead power lines, particularly at this time of year when the sun is low and may affect vision.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is asking farmers to make sure everyone working on their land, including independent contractors, are aware of the power lines that carry electricity overhead, and to take precautions so their equipment does not come into contact with them.

This appeal comes following a recent incident near Keith when a farmer accidentally hit the low voltage network with his equipment, bringing down the wires. In this incident, the wires broke and fell away from the vehicle so he was fortunate enough to be clear of the line.

SSEN recommends that if any part of the vehicle or equipment touches an overhead line, people should not get out of the cab. Once outside, they no longer have the protective shield of the machine around them. The best advice is to call SSEN on single emergency number 105 from the vehicle and you will be put through to SSEN’s emergency contact centre. The team will then advise people what to do, while making the wires safe so you can exit the vehicle.

Neil Wilson, Head of Region for North Caledonia at SSEN said: “The use of agricultural machinery such as combine harvesters, tipping trailers, boom sprayers and loaders, as well as activities such as stacking can often bring farmers and agricultural contractors close to power lines.

“We’re encouraging farmers in the area to look up and look out for power lines and to remember you don’t have to touch the power line or equipment for it to cause injury. In this instance, the farmer was lucky the lines fell away from the vehicle itself, but it is important never to assume electrical equipment is dead, even if the wires have fallen or broken.”

SSEN’s customers can call national helpline 105 to report power cuts as well as report damage to electricity power lines, substations or equipment that could put themselves, or someone else, in danger.

If it is a safety emergency, customers are urged to dial 999 and ask for the police who will contact SSEN directly.

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