Farmers call on HSE Executive to act on low hanging power lines
Farmers have challenged the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to deal with low-hanging power lines which put their lives in danger.
Based on standard, power lines are expected to be minimum of 5.2m above ground level, rising to 7.3m for higher voltage cables.
It is believed that the requirements were set when agricultural machinery was much smaller, and it is not unusual for combine harvesters, telescopic handlers, tractors and crop sprayers to be capable of reaching the lines.
There have been safety issues with regards to power lines every year every year. In one of those incidents, a 18-year-old Lincolnshire farmer, Jackson Maplethorpe, was tragically killed when his trailer hit an overhead cable in November 2016.
David Exwood, the union’s West Sussex chair expressed frustration on the danger of overhead power lines pose to farmers.
Due to the danger posed by power lines to farmers, Will Dickinson has called on HSE to press for higher minimum standards, saying it was ‘utterly ludicrous’ for the rules to allow for any risk of contact.
Mr Brunt also urged farmers who have power lines on their land which were not meeting legal requirements to reach out to HSE if they struggled to get a response from the energy network.
A HSE spokesman expressed the concern over the safety of farmers. He said: “We take the safety of our farmers very seriously, and HSE has published guidelines on how to manage the risks posed by overhead power lines which includes a stipulated minimum height for overhead power cables.
“Any farmers with concerns about the impact of power cables on their land should raise them with the energy company responsible for the power lines to find ways of minimising the risk they pose.”
SOURCE: Farmers guardian