Farms warned of danger of overhead electricity cables following series of accidents (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Farms warned of danger of overhead electricity cables following series of accidents
6:40pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
ELECTRICITY bosses have urged farmers to be extremely careful around overhead power lines after a spate of accidents in which workers have put their lives at risk.
In the last three months, seven incidents have been reported to Northern Powergrid involving tractors or other machinery striking cables or support poles.
This includes an accident in Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire in July, which saw a harvester hit an electricity pole conductor, and an incident in Malton last month when a combine harvester collided with a pylon.
Later that month, a hedge cutter hit an electricity pole’s support cables in Thirsk.
Northern Powergrid – the electricity distributor managing 29,000 kilometres of overhead power line across the North East, Yorkshire and north Lincolnshire – says that coming into contact with the overhead lines and cables, which can carry anything up to 400,000 volts, can prove fatal.
Paul Norton, head of safety at Northern Powergrid, said: “Another important point is that farm equipment spraying jets of water or pesticides can, if they come into contact with power lines, provide a circuit of electricity that can cause death or serious injury to the equipment’s operator.”
He advised farmers to carry out risk assessments on land prior to carrying out work, especially if they employ contract workers who are unfamiliar with the land.
For further safety advice contact 0845 070 7172.
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