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ScottishPower Announces Partnership With RHET At Royal Highland Show 2014

19/06/2014

  • New partnership will help to educate over 800,000 children on how to keep safe around electricity

ScottishPower Energy Networks has joined up with the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) at this year’s Royal Highland Show. The partnership is part of its campaign to keep children and young people safe around electricity inside and outside the home.

Children from all over Scotland will visit the show, which runs from Thursday until Sunday, to learn about the importance of agriculture, the countryside and rural living.

ScottishPower will use the event as a platform to showcase its new and improved PowerWise website with children visiting the show the first in the UK to test it out.  New additions will include advice on how to stay safe through a combination of interactive activities which include animations, fun missions and engaging lessons while also getting across the important safety message.

PowerWise has already reached over 800,000 children in the eight years it has been active and it is hoped that the new website will encourage even more children to become PowerWise.

The website forms part of the wider award-winning PowerWise educational programme which has worked directly with more than 2,390 primary schools and nearly 500,000 pupils in the ScottishPower network areas.

Frank Mitchell, CEO of ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “The new PowerWise website is much more interactive, with fun activities for children and young people to take part in. We are hoping to build on the hugely successful PowerWise website which has been visited over 800,000 times already.

“We hope this new improved website will complement the award winning PowerWise school programme which has already reached nearly half a million school pupils and encourage even more children to take an active interest in how they can stay safe around electricity now and in the future.

“Educating young people about the potential dangers that are associated with electrical equipment is hugely important - as these lessons will help to keep people safe for many years to come.”

Alison Taylor, Fundraising and Partnership Manager at Royal Highland and Agricultural Society Scotland said: "We are really pleased that the Royal Highland Education Trust is providing a valuable platform to support ScottishPower's aim to educate children and young people about how to stay safe around electricity."

As well as its push to educate children in staying safe with electricity, ScottishPower will engage directly with farmers and farm workers at the show ahead of heightened activity over the harvest period.

ScottishPower Energy Networks will hold a series of shows illustrating the potential devastating consequences of a cable strike with a visual pyrotechnic demonstration of machinery colliding with an overhead power line. Accidental contact with live overhead power lines can be potentially fatal or cause serious injuries, with risks higher in industrial sectors such as agriculture.

Alastair Mitchell, an inspector with the Health and Safety Executive’s Agricultural Safety Team said: “Working near power lines can prove fatal if the right precautions are not taken. In the last ten years there have been 11 work-related deaths in the agricultural sector caused by contact with overhead power lines.  With the increasing height of modern farm machinery such as telescopic handlers and combine harvesters, the risk of contact with a power line is much more likely now than ever before.”

“I would encourage farmers and farm workers to watch the ScottishPower demonstration at the Royal Highland Show and to read HSE’s guidance on how to work safely. Planning the job and assessing the risks are important, but operators should also know what action they need to take in the event of a cable strike to ensure they minimise risks to themselves and others.”

For further information, photography or interviews please contact:
Stephanie Robertson 07739 326 546 / Jen Ward 07983 547 727   publicsafety@stripecommunications.com

Notes to editors:

More information on PowerWise can be found here: http://www.powerwise.org.uk/pages/welcome.asp

Information on the Royal Highland Education Trust can be found here: http://www.rhet.org.uk/

ScottishPower Energy Networks owns and operates the electricity transmission and distribution network in the south of Scotland and the distribution network in Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales.

As the network operator it maintains and repairs the electrical equipment and network assets that transport electricity to around 3.5 million homes and business.

Guidance on working safely near overhead power lines can be found on:

ScottishPower Energy Networks
http://www.spenergynetworks.co.uk/pages/community_health_safety.asp

Health & Safety Executive 
http://www.hse.gov.uk/

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