Farmers are being told “look out, look up” when working near overhead power lines and poles.
The plea from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) comes as farmers prepare to make a start on silage-making.
SSEN said the number of incidents involving farm machinery coming into contact with overhead power lines and poles has increased in the past 12 months to 910, from 865 in the year before.
SSEN’s network operational safety manager Ian Crawley said: “While it’s both worrying and disappointing to see the number of farm-related incidents on the rise, the year-on-year increase is slowing down, which is hopefully a sign that the Look Out, Look Up campaign is having a positive impact across the farming community.
“Always take the opportunity to risk-assess before any work begins – it’s a small step to take that could make all the difference. Striking a pole or coming into contact with electrical equipment can have serious and potentially lethal consequences for those involved.”
Farmers are advised to know the height of machinery that will be in use near lines and ensure there is plenty clearance.
If their machine comes into contact with an overhead line or cable, they are advised to stay in the cab of the vehicle and avoid touching anything with metal within it.
They must call 105 immediately and if it is not safe to stay in the vehicle they are advised to leap out of the cab as high and as far as they can to avoid touching any part of the machinery or electricity network.