Surge in power line incidents on Scottish farm land

Last year, there were some 730 incidents on farm land in central and south Scotland arising from problems with power lines. This was a 40 per cent increase on the number reported in the previous 12 months.

Many incidents with power lines could be avoided. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

To raise awareness of the hazards of working close to electricity on farm land, SP Energy Networks, the network operator for Central and Southern Scotland, has teamed up with Police Scotland and the National Farmers Union of Scotland to tackle the issue.

The collaboration comes after a recent survey which found that while 88 per cent of Scottish young farmers were aware of what the Danger of Death sign stood for, almost half of them were still not sure what to do in the event of a fallen power line.

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At this week’s Highland show a series of graphic demonstrations will demonstrate the potentially life threatening effects of coming into contact with electric lines.

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In various scenarios, the electricity distributor will demonstrate the potentially devastating consequences of a cable strike, showing what happens when machinery collides with an overhead power line resulting in danger to farmers, their employees and their families.

Safety experts will also be on hand to talk about the importance of reporting potential safety hazards, such as discovering damaged power lines that have fallen low or to the ground after severe weather.

Speaking yesterday, Guy Jefferson, SP Energy Networks, said: “Every year we see serious incidents involving electricity, many of which could have been avoided.”

“Working near power lines can prove fatal if the right precautions are not taken.”