Safety materials are breaking down language barriers

Safety poster

UK Power Networks has reproduced its safety advice in a range of languages to help save lives.

The UK’s biggest electricity distributor worked with the farming and building industries to identify which languages were most popularly used by their respective workers.

The translations include stickers and posters highlighting the care that needs to be taken to identify the locations of both overhead and underground power cables as well as what to do in an emergency, for example if they find themselves trapped in a vehicle that has come into contact with electricity.

The National Farmers Union and the Federation of Master Builders were among those consulted and feedback led to nine languages being chosen for the project; Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian and Slovak.

Ros Forbes, a safety advisor at UK Power Networks, says: “It is important to break down any language barriers in the event of an electrical emergency.

“The stickers and posters give essential safety advice and we know that in pressure situations safety advice needs to be clear and understandable -it is always preferable for people to be reading what to do in their first language.

“We talked to the industries who work closely around high voltage electricity and established which language translations would be most useful to their workforce.

“Any farmers, builders or other relevant trades wanting these materials can request them from us free of charge via our email address.”

Tom Price, NFU farm safety policy advisor, says: “Arguably every farm will have a power line crossing it and it is vital that farmers and farm workers know about the risks they present and how to manage them.

“The NFU welcomes the translation of safety information to help make it more accessible to all those work on farms.”

Brian Berry, chief executive at the Federation of Master Builders says: “Building sites can often contain risks of injury, especially if dealing with power cables.

“Therefore, we’re glad to see the creation of accessible safety guidance for the industry to help educate and mitigate risks to as wide an audience of builders as possible.”

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