Decrease in electrical incidents on UK farms

There has been a 3% decrease in the number of reported incidents since last year
There has been a 3% decrease in the number of reported incidents since last year

There has been a decrease in electrical incidents being reported on farms and farmland in the first half of 2020, new figures show.

The industry witnessed a 3% year-on-year fall in accidents involving electric such as tractors pulling down low voltage power lines and digging up underground cables.

According to SP Energy Networks, the decrease in reported incidents showed that safety messaging and measures were working.

But as agricultural machinery gets bigger, it presents a higher risk of accidental contact with overhead powerlines, the electrical firm said.

Farmers are being to stay safe as it joins the Farm Safety Partnership and Health & Safety Executive in backing Farm Safety Week.

During the campaign and throughout the year, SP Energy Networks shares power safety advice with farm workers in Scotland, Merseyside, Cheshire, and North Wales.

The safety campaign aims to help them stay safe when working in and around the electricity network.

Guy Jefferson, customer service director at SP Energy Networks said: “The safety of farmers is incredibly important and, over the years, we’ve worked closely with communities to raise awareness of the dangers surrounding electricity on farms and farmlands.

"Crucially, we’ve ensured farmers know what to do in an emergency – they call the 105 emergency helpline."

How can I improve electrical safety?

• Have the national 105 emergency helpline close to hand: keep this saved in the contacts on your mobile phone.

• Look out! Look up! When working on farmland near overhead powerlines, be mindful of machinery and its size as it passes underneath.

• Plan ahead: carefully plan your routes, including access points and avoid stacking or storing items directly under overhead lines.

• Map it out: mark up a farm map with routes, operating voltages and approximate heights of overhead power lines running across your land.

• Beware of fallen powerlines: In the event of a powerline falling on your land, we would advise taking extreme caution.

• Tell others about potential hazards: Ensure you inform staff, contractors and delivery drivers of potential electrical hazards on the farmland before any work begins.