Utilities tread delicate path with farmers

Utilities
companies have had to cancel non-essential maintenance work to prevent the
spread of foot-and-mouth disease, according to the HR manager at East Midlands
Electricity.

Dave
Newborough told Personnel Today that getting access to land contaminated by the
virus, has proved a delicate task.

Newborough
said his staff training programme had prepared engineers for situations similar
to those created by the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

He
said, “We have been very sympathetic to the farmers and tried to have people
working in the fields at times that are suitable for them – this has meant that
some people have been working overtime.”

Companies
such as Southern Water have had to train staff using company intranets about
how to use mobile disinfectant kits when carrying out essential maintenance
work in infected areas.

Utilities
companies have had to change policies overnight in order to deal with the
outbreak.

Southern
Water has been forced to cancel non-essential maintenance work and train staff
to use mobile disinfectant kits where work was necessary.

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