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Gardeners can be at risk from electricity power supplies just as much as people using fishing rods can be.

That's the reminder from electrical power provider SSEN as it encourages gardeners to click before they dig this Easter with new Safety website

They say that in the past year, more people have turned to gardening with projects great and small, and as the Easter holidays approach, SSEN has launched its new Safety website in time to give guidance on staying safe in the garden.

As horticultural and home projects increased last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, so too did safety incidents where underground cables were struck by members of the public digging and driving stakes, with 408 incidents recorded across SSEN’s regions in central southern England and the north of Scotland. Fortunately, not all of these incidents resulted in an injury, but each of them had the potential for a more serious, if not fatal, outcome.

And welovestornoway.com might not be here today had the editor not taken a very careful look at something he'd just uncovered snaking its way across some actual bedrock in the garden of a Point dwelling almost 30 years ago – his reshaping of part of the garden to add a rockery and expand a parking area had indeed exposed the main power supply to the house lain close to the former surface because the solid rock was close beneath. Scottish Hydro - as it then was - were there remarkably quickly to reposition the cable elsewhere in the garden where the soil was deeper. 

SSEN says it is aware that most of its customers will be gardening on a smaller scale, but some projects that involve stakes for fencing or deeper digging for ponds or walls require safety checks to be carried out before any works are started. Ahead of any works, the distribution operator is encouraging people to think carefully about their projects, then ‘click before they dig’ and refer to the guidance on its new Safety website at www.ssen.co.uk/safety/home.

Ian Crawley, SSEN’s Head of Operational Safety said:“Easter is traditionally a time when many of us pick up spades and think about revamping our outdoor spaces, so we wanted to launch our new website to give advice to anyone undertaking a gardening or DIY project.

“Lighter works, such as planting, turning over or skimming topsoil shouldn’t raise any risks, but if you’re looking to take on a task that requires excavating, deeper digging or driving fence posts, then I’d encourage you to go to www.ssen.co.uk/safety/home for further information and advice, and to check cable locations ahead of works.”

He added:“Gardening has provided much solace in the last year and at SSEN, we want everyone to enjoy working outdoors and admiring the fruits of their labour, so please stay safe and ‘click before you dig’ this Easter.”

Customers can also call for guidance on any works they are undertaking on 0800 072 7282.