SSEN raises awareness of rural issues at BBC Countryfile Live

Farm safety and caring for our more rural customers were the hot topics for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) at this year’s BBC Countryfile Live show.

Held in the grounds of Blenheim Palace over four days, BBC Countryfile Live helps provide SSEN with the perfect platform to talk to some of the 120,000 visitors to the event; raising their awareness of the services that SSEN can provide and sharing information on how farmers can work safely around our network infrastructure. And, as SSEN shared a stand this year with Oxfordshire County Council and other utilities - including Thames Water, Highways and Southern Gas Networks - visitors to the show were able to address any of their community or utility questions at the one-stop-shop.

At this time of year, the farming community is in the middle of one of its busiest seasons and Customer and Community Advisors from SSEN were able to distribute safety advice, so farmers and their teams are armed with the knowledge that they need to stay safe in the field this summer and beyond. Along with carrying out risk assessments ahead of using farming equipment around the electricity network, safety measures recommended by SSEN include: 

  • ‘Look out, Look up’ before you start work in any areas where electricity lines are present
  • Be aware of the height of machinery that will be in use near lines and ensure there’s plenty of clearance – remember that electricity can ‘jump’ if an object comes near enough
  • If you do come in to contact with an overhead line or cable, stay in your cab or vehicle and try to avoid touching anything metal within it
  • Call 105 – this is the UK-wide single emergency number for power companies and is the quickest way to put you through to the correct network operator
  • If the situation is too dangerous to stay put, i.e. if the machinery is affected by fire, then it’s advised that you leap out of the vehicle as high and as far as you can to avoid touching any part of it

 Rural isolation is another area that SSEN addressed at the four-day show and how customers who might be vulnerable during a power cut or severe weather event can receive additional assistance. The Priority Service Register (PSR) is just one of the many ways that SSEN can make a difference to those who require extra care and forms were available at the stand to enable customers to sign up for the service on the day.

Customers who meet the following criteria, can sign up for the service at any time: 

  • Are dependent on electricity for home medical care, for example a kidney dialysis machine or ventilator
  • Have a chronic illness or short term medical condition; for example you are recovering from a major operation
  • Are disabled
  • Have special communication needs; for example because you are blind, partially sighted, deaf or hard of hearing
  • Have children under 5
  • Are over 60 years old

 For further information on how PSR could help you, please go to - https://www.ssen.co.uk/PriorityServices/