Power company works with British sugar to put electrical safety first

Safety in electricity

Two of Suffolk’s largest employers worked together to drive home the potentially life-saving message of safety around electricity.

UK Power Networks, which distributes electricity across the East of England, joined forces with British Sugar to warn of the dangers of contact with overhead power lines.

Logistics and harvesting contractors who work in partnership with British Sugar on the Beet Delivery Service, and independently for farmers, were the target audience of the safety session held in Lakenheath.

Among the points covered on the day were awareness of risks around the power network and the importance of safe working including requesting overhead power line plans ahead of harvesting and loading crops onto vehicles, as well as what to do if an accident does happen.

Touching high voltage cables can be fatal or cause serious injuries if people or an object they are in contact with get too close to a line and a flashover occurs.

Ros Forbes, a safety advisor at UK Power Networks who led the session, says: “We want to prompt collaborative working and positive conversations about safety which, ultimately, will help save lives.

“It was a hugely positive day where we took the time to remind people who work with British Sugar of the need to have electrical safety front of mind with extra care always needed around overhead power lines.

“Our advice is always to be vigilant, to look up and around to see what electrical equipment is near you if driving or using agricultural machinery. British Sugar take safety very seriously and gave us tremendous backing and support to deliver our message.”

Clare Beaumont, Beet Delivery Service Manager at British Sugar, comments: “Nothing is more important than the safety of our colleagues and partners across the British beet sugar industry.

“Working in collaboration with UK Power Networks is a proven way of ensuring the right messaging about electrical safety can be shared and understood.

“The day was a real success, with a lot of positive feedback from those present, and it is an exercise we plan to repeat in future years.”

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