WITH spring ground work under way, farmers are being urged to be extra careful when working near overhead power lines.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks has asked farmers to make sure everyone working on their land, including independent contractors, are aware of any power lines overhead, and take precautions to avoid equipment coming into contact with them.

The SSEN appeal comes following a spate of incidents in the north of Scotland, including one case where a farmer hit the overhead network with farm machinery, bringing down the wires – which fortunately fell away from the vehicle.

SSEN recommends that if any part of the vehicle or equipment touches an overhead line, people should not get out of the cab, as once outside, they no longer have the protective shield of the machine around them. The best advice is to call SSEN on single emergency number 105 from the vehicle. The team will then advise people what to do, while making the wires safe so you can exit the vehicle.

Director of Customer Operations at SSEN, Dale Cargill said: “The use of agricultural machinery such as combine harvesters, tipping trailers, boom sprayers and loaders, as well as activities such as stacking, can often bring farmers and agricultural contractors close to power lines.

“We’re encouraging farmers in Scotland to look up and look out for power lines and to remember you don’t have to touch the power line or equipment for it to cause injury. In this instance, the farmer was lucky the lines fell away from the vehicle itself, but it is important never to assume electrical equipment is dead, even if the wires have fallen or broken.”