Farmers, crofters and agricultural workers are being told “look out, look up” for overhead electricity lines during harvest.
The message from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) comes as combines roll across fields the length and breadth of the country.
“As farmers and their teams work long hours to complete this year’s harvest, we want to ensure they’re armed with the knowledge they need to stay safe near overhead power lines that may run across their land,” said SSEN director of customer operations, Dale Cargill.
“Always take the opportunity to risk-assess before any work begins, ‘look out, look up’ and pay attention to your surroundings and if you come into contact with an overhead line or cable, stay in your cab and call 105 immediately.”
SSEN advice urges farmers and agricultural workers to assess whether any electricity lines are present in a field before starting work in it.
They should then risk-assess the situation and be aware of the height of machinery that will be in use near the lines, as electricity can jump if an object comes near enough.
SSEN advice also states workers must not leave the tractor or vehicle cab if any part of the machinery or equipment touches an overhead line – once outside, they will no longer have the protective shield of the machine.
Farmers and crofters who find themselves in this position are asked to contact SSEN on single emergency number 105 from the vehicle. They will be put through to the company’s emergency contact centre and given advice on what to do.
In instances where it is unsafe to say in the cab, such as the machine being on fire, farmers are advised to leap out of the vehicle as high and as far as they can.