Doing some gardening? Watch out for underground wires say SSEN

Doing some gardening? Watch out for underground wires say SSEN

Published at 12:40pm 22nd May 2020.

3 minute read

There have been 23 incidents in central southern England since March, where people have come into contact with the power supplier's equipment.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks say the accidents have all happened while members of the public have been working in their gardens.

26% of the cases had the potential for serious injury and have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive.

Digging Gardening
Smaller projects are safe, but larger gardening tasks could pose a risk of hitting electric cabling

As we come to another Bank Holiday weekend, and we're seeing garden centres and DIY stores starting to re-open, SSEN is asking people to 'exercise some caution' if we're working in the garden.

They've said most smaller projects like turning topsoil, or digging flowerbeds shouldn't pose a problem, they want to give us some advice to keep safe when carrying out bigger tasks that could expose underground cables.

Deeper digging or driving in fence posts and poles could cause problems if we're not aware of what lies beneath.

Excavation Digging Gardening
We're asked to check for underground cabling before carrying out bigger projects, to keep ourselves safe

Ian Crawley, SSEN's Networks Operational Safety Manager, said: 

"Now we're seeing the gradual increase of stores opening that provide gardening equipment and power tools, we want to make sure that our customers stay safe as they go about their gardening or DIY projects.

"Since March SSEN has recorded 23 incidents in central southern England where members of the public have accidentally come in to contact with our equipment while working in their gardens. While some of these incidents resulted in injury - and, thankfully, those injuries were minor - they all had the potential to have had a more serious, if not fatal, outcome. We want to protect our customers from harm, while preventing the risk of any damage to the electricity network, which is playing such an important part in the nation's fight against coronavirus.

"We want everyone to enjoy this Bank Holiday weekend and any of the tasks they might be working on in and around their homes and gardens, so we're asking our customers to think about the work they intend to do and visit our website or call us for some free and helpful safety advice."

There's plenty of advice on the SSEN website, with safety leaflets in a number of categories - like demolition, landscaping and polytunelling. 

Advice on checking for undergrounding cabling, as well as requesting a safety visit from SSEN can also be found on the power supplier's website.

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