Farmers to get power line maps

LINCS FARMERS are to be given maps of overhead electricity cables on their land in a bid to cut electrocution deaths.

The Health and Safety Executive is also planning to visit farms in the county to make sure that workers are as safe as possible.

Each year, around half a dozen people die when farm machinery such as irrigation equipment or hedge flails comes into contact with cables carrying up to 400,000 volts.

The HSE campaign follows visits six months ago when farmers were told how to make sure employees and contractors worked safely around power lines.

Electricity suppliers will be supplying the maps on paper and CD ROM so farmers can identify lines above and below ground.

HSE Inspector Ian Ellison said: “Farmers are increasingly using specialist contractors for particular jobs who often don‘t know the lie of the land.

“It‘s easy for them to miss overhead cables or not realise the kind of power they‘re carrying.

“The maps sound like a really basic measure, but the regular death toll tells its own story.”

Stephen Hennell, network and public safety manager for Central Networks, said: “We regularly experience incidents where during agriculture work contact is made with overhead lines or the supporting poles. 

“On some occasions these incidents result in injury to a farm or agricultural worker, and regrettably in some instances these injuries prove to be fatal. 

“What makes it all so sad is that these incidents are preventable with some pre-planning, with vital information being recorded and passed on to those doing the work.”