FARMERS have been warned to take care around overhead power cables after a series of accidents put lives at risk.

In recent weeks, six incidents have been reported to electricity distribution company Northern Powergrid, involving tractors, trucks or other farm machinery striking cables or support poles, which could prove fatal.

Geoff Earl, who is the director of safety, health and the environment at Northern Powergrid, said: “We have significant parts of our electricity network running over farmland areas.

“Overhead cables on wood poles can be carrying anything up to 132,000 volts, so we advise farmers at this very busy time to remind their staff to always be aware of where these power lines are and to know the dangers of coming into contact with them.

“Accidentally hitting these cables could prove lethal.

“It’s easy to misjudge heights and distances, especially when tired or operating in poor light such as at dusk or dawn.

“Electricity can jump gaps so even getting too close to lines can be dangerous.

“Many objects can also conduct electricity such as trees, string, rope and water.”