Campaign urges farmers and farm workers to stay safe

LEARning HOW TO STAY SAFE: Finlay, 6, Alfie, 6, Arlo, 3 and Caspar, 8, get a lesson in safety from SP Energy networks' Sparky the Powerwise crow.

LEARning HOW TO STAY SAFE: Finlay, 6, Alfie, 6, Arlo, 3 and Caspar, 8, get a lesson in safety from SP Energy networks’ Sparky the Powerwise crow.

SP EnErgy networks has announced that it will be renewing its partnership with north Wales Police for a second year, urging farmers and farm workers in north Wales to stay safe when working near overhead electric power lines following a recent spate of incidents in the area. The number of incidents reported to SP Energy networks relating to fallen power lines on agricultural land in north Wales continues to rise, increasing by 58 per cent in the period April 2015 to March 2016, compared with the same period the previous year. Since April 2016, a total of 18 incidents have already been recorded. While the majority of these incidents are caused by power lines falling as a result of adverse weather conditions, they can also be caused by accidental contact with overhead power lines. SP Energy networks, which owns, manages and maintains more than 5,300km of underground cable and more than 7,500km of overhead lines, supplying supply electricity to 234,000 customers across north Wales, was at the Anglesey Show to raise awareness of its vital safety messages as well as offering safety advice to the local agricultural community. SP Energy networks hosted a series of dramatic pyrotechnic displays to highlight the potentially devastating consequences of machinery colliding with an overhead power line. Even when power lines are brought down they can remain live, and SP Energy networks is encouraging farmers to be aware of ways to minimise risk and to know the precautions to take in the event of a power emergency. It is vital that they know to keep people and livestock away and contact SP Energy networks’ 24-hour hotline number on 0800 001 5400 when there is an emergency. Stephen Stewart, director at SP Energy networks, said: “We are delighted to have the support of north Wales Police in helping to spread our safety message. “As we approach harvest and farmers begin to work increasingly long days, and often late into the night, it is crucial for them to be aware of the hazards that working in close proximity to overhead lines can present. “By showcasing the risks through our pyrotechnics display, we hope we can help workers be informed and to stay safe.” PC Dave Allen from north Wales Police rural Crime Team said: “We are delighted to be supporting SP Energy networks’ campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of overhead powerlines. “We work closely with rural communities across north Wales and know too well the dangers that are posed to the farming community by these powerlines.”

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