18 Jul 2023

Human interest North West Utility

Network operator issues safety message to farmers after 38 incidents in a year

An Electricity North West engineer (3)

Farmers are being urged to prioritise their safety by one of the UK’s electricity network operators.

Statistics revealed by Electricity North West show that in the last 12 months, 38 separate safety incidents occurred on its power network on farms, and it’s possible many more go unreported.

Machinery has damaged overhead lines several times in the North West whilst cattle have also caused damage to electrical assets and more recently, sheets which protect crops have become loose and wrapped around overhead lines.

As well as posing significant safety risks, many of the incidents have also led to power cuts in the local areas while the engineers make the area safe.

Now, to mark Farm Safety Week, the firm is urging farmers to make safety a number one priority by looking out, looking up and not dicing with death around powerful electrical equipment.

Alan Taylor, Electricity North West’s head of safety, health, environment, and quality, said: “As the region’s power network operator, safety is our number one priority, and we urge farmers to remain vigilant to the hazards in their work area – it could save their lives.

“We’ve seen a lot of incidents on the network in the last 12 months many of which could have been avoided.

“Thankfully, despite all the incidents, there haven’t been any injuries, but it doesn’t reflect how serious each incident is.

“The electricity network is both overhead and underground and covers thousands of miles across the region. Our one message for Farm Safety Week is to look out and look up.”

Now in its eleventh year, Farm Safety Week is an initiative organised by the Farm Safety Foundation which brings attention to the number of serious incidents and fatal injuries in the industry and highlight what is being done.

If equipment collides with overhead lines, stay in the cab and call your local electricity network operator immediately on 105 so engineers can remove power safely. To find out more go to www.enwl.co.uk/safety.