SSEN's new campaign offers safety advice in spades

Striking an underground electricity cable can have serious, potentially fatal, consequences and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is hoping that its new garden safety drive across the north of Scotland will, instead, strike a chord with green-fingered customers before they start digging.

Since the easing of lockdown, SSEN Customer Relationship Managers have been delivering copies of the company’s new safety leaflet, with the headline “Think before you dig”, to garden centres in towns and cities such as Dundee, Perth, Elgin and Inverness, along with posters urging customers to contact them and check the location of nearby underground cables before they get their spades and shovels out.

Smaller projects such as turning topsoil or digging flowerbeds shouldn’t pose any risk for gardeners,  it’s the bigger tasks such as trenching, driving poles and installing fence posts that SSEN is looking to highlight, as these are the ones that carry the potential to result in a cable strike. 

Chris McKaig, SSEN’s Lead Customer Relationship Manager, hopes the new safety leaflets and posters will become a perennial fixture in gardeners’ workshops and potting sheds:

“Gardening is one of our traditional pastimes, but not everyone is aware of the potential dangers that can come about as a result of digging or enthusiastic hoe-ing without first checking what lies beneath the soil.

“We want everyone to be safe as they work in the garden, whether it’s for business or pleasure, and the message behind this campaign is really simple: “think before you dig”. Plan the work you intend to do, make sure you’ve got the right tools and PPE and then visit our website or call us for some free and helpful safety advice. 

“The feedback I’ve had from garden centre managers when making my own deliveries has been really positive, and it’s encouraging to know that it’s a sentiment that’s been echoed when my colleagues have been distributing the leaflets and posters across their individual regions too.”

If you’re thinking about a spot of gardening in the coming weeks, visit this page on our website for a wide range of safety advice or call the General Enquiries team on 0800 048 3516 to learn more about the company’s free cable trace service.

The above photo shows one of our young customers, Presley, looking forward to helping his parents stay safe in the garden.


About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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