Think, plan, locate: Read new powerline safety advice

Power line strike

Image: UK Power Networks

Think, plan, locate – that’s the message from the NFU and UK Power Networks to help reduce the risk of accidents involving overhead powerlines.

Figures from UK Power Networks show that 18% of overhead powerline incidents in 2020 involved farming businesses.

Almost all line contact incidents can be avoided and the risk of death, injury, harm and disruption to power supply prevented.

Simple steps to manage risk

The key to safe operations around power lines is planning. Follow these actions to help control risk:

  1. Check the height and reach of machines and communicate the information to all staff who will use the equipment. Label height and reach on a sticker in the cab.
  2. Map all the lines on the farm and communicate the information to all workers and farm visitors who will be working near lines – especially contractors.
  3. Check line heights and, in case of any doubt, contact your local electricity supplier, which is also called a District Network Operator (DNO). Ask the team to check line heights and take remedial action – the service is free. Find out who your DNO is here.
  4. Remain alert and do not rely on GPS or other technology to avoid power lines – many incidents happen each year because drivers are not alert or actively avoiding obstacles.

More information and advice on working safely near overhead lines is available in the HSE information sheet AIS8 and in guidance note GS6.