Energy company urges everyone to stay safe in the garden

With the nation currently in lockdown in response to the coronavirus outbreak, a spot of gardening is often a popular way to get fresh air while still sticking to the Government’s social distancing guidelines.

And while Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is aware that most people will be gardening on a small scale, it also wants to highlight the potential dangers of striking an underground cable when working on larger projects.

Since lockdown began on 23 March, SSEN has seen nine reported incidents where their underground cables have been struck by a member of the public digging their garden. Thankfully not all of these incidents resulted in an injury, but each one of them had the potential to have had a more serious, if not fatal, outcome.

Turning the earth or skimming your topsoil shouldn’t present any risk, but if you’re considering larger tasks that involved deeper digging , excavation or driving fence posts, SSEN is urging you to contact them for some essential safety advice and to check cable locations beforehand.

Kelvin Somers, SSEN’s Networks Safety Advisor, said:

“Gardening is one of our traditional British pastimes and, in the current situation, it’s a fantastic way to get out in the fresh air while still following the essential social distancing guidelines.

“We want everyone to stay safe in their garden or allotment, first and foremost for their own sakes, but also to prevent the risk of any damage to the electricity network, which is playing such an important part in the nation’s fight against coronavirus.

“Our message is simple: before you start, have a think about the work you’ll be doing and please visit our website or call us for some helpful safety advice.”

For more information, visit SSEN’s online safety library for leaflets on safer working in the garden and other activities.