NORTHERN Powergrid has created a new safety video to help farmers and farm workers stay safe around the region's power network.

Large sections of the electricity distributor's network crosses farmland with some overhead cables on wood poles carrying voltages of up to 132,000 volts.

The company says judging heights and distances, especially when tired or operating in reduced light at dusk or dawn, can be challenging for farm workers and electricity can jump gaps of between one and seven metres, depending on the voltage of the power line.

The new video reminds farmers to always stop and look up before using machinery in case of overhead lines. It provides simple to follow safety advice to farmers, using the SHOCK acronym, so they know what to do if their vehicle or machinery gets too close to, or comes into contact with, power lines. It also reminds farmers of the emergency 105 power cut number, which they should use to report any incidents.

Geoff Earl, Northern Powergrid's director of safety, health and environment, said: "Every year across the UK, people are killed and many more injured when their vehicle or equipment comes into contact, or gets too close, to power lines.

"It's essential that agricultural workers are aware of the dangers and take preventive action. Spending just a few minutes 'looking up' and carrying out a thorough risk assessment every time before working can avoid the potentially fatal consequences and save lives.

"Our new 'SHOCK' animation gives clear, simple advice about how to stay away and stay safe as well as giving life-saving instructions about what to do should their farm machinery or tractor get too close to, or hits the electricity network."

Northern Powergrid is also providing free safety checks, which contain copies of safety advice leaflets, a cab sticker and air freshener, which contains potentially lifesaving advice on what to do if your vehicle or equipment comes into contact or too close to power lines.

A copy of the company's ‘Working together with agriculture to save lives’ guide is also available at or from the 24-hour contact centre on 0800 011 3332.