New farm safety campaign

A new farming safety campaign has been put in place by SA Power Networks. Photo: Gozha Net on Unsplash

SA Power Networks has recently launched a new advertising campaign aimed at reducing the risk to farmers from power lines on rural properties.

On average, more than 20 incidents occur on farms each year where power lines are struck by farming vehicles.

Additionally, there also are countless near misses and incidents where work is done far too close to powerlines.

The new campaign, which coincides with the beginning of the sowing season, focuses on the issue of ‘inattentional blindness’, a psychologically recognised behaviour where people gradually do not notice common things they see every day.

SA Power Networks head of corporate affairs Paul Roberts said there was so much information bombarding people that their brains get good at reducing the input to focus on what people think is most important at the time.

“We are making thousands of decisions basically on auto pilot, and we stop noticing things that actually could kill us,” he said.

“So our campaign is about getting people engaged in actively thinking about the risk from Stobie poles which can go unnoticed on farms – with potentially disastrous consequences.”

The campaign has the simple focus of what you do not notice can kill you.

“This isn’t about blaming farmers – it is about recognising this is how we are as humans,” Mr Roberts said.

“We want to break that cycle and ensure when working on their properties, farmers, their families and all their contractors are mindful and paying full attention.”

Mr Roberts said television, radio, press and digital advertising would take the safety message to all parts of regional South Australia as the sowing season commenced, with a specific focus on broad acre farming regions where most vehicle related incidents occur.

“SA Power Networks is also launching its first advertising campaign tackling issues around use of high vehicles such as tipper trucks around power lines,” he said.