Get through the switchover safely!

WITH just one day to go before the digital switchover tomorrow (Wednesday,) North Devon and Torridge District councils have teamed up with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in a joint campaign to ensure television aerial and satellite dish installers ar

WITH just one day to go before the digital switchover tomorrow (Wednesday,) North Devon and Torridge District councils have teamed up with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in a joint campaign to ensure television aerial and satellite dish installers are working safely across their districts.

Over the next few months both councils will be visiting shops and tradesmen to provide advice and self check guides to electrical retailers and installers.

This is part of a wider project across the South West to raise safety standards amongst installers and to weed out rogue traders who may be taking advantage of the changes and cutting corners, putting themselves and others at risk.

Councillor Pat Barker, North Devon Council's Lead Member for regulatory services explained: "We want to encourage safe installation work and therefore we expect installers to be using the correct equipment. This includes harnesses, ropes and fall protection devices, as well as making sure their ladders are secured to stop falls.

"There have been some fatal incidents to aerial installers as well as serious injuries elsewhere in the country and we don't want to see this repeated in North Devon."

Councillor Barry Parsons, Torridge District Council's Lead Member for public protection added: "Only a small number of TV aerials will need to be changed as part of the digital switchover, but you may be one of the households who will need to use a satellite or aerial installer to change your equipment.

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"There are always people who use clever and persuasive tactics to try to make a fast buck on the back of something new, like digital switchover, and we want people to be aware."

If in doubt:

* Don't get work done by tradesmen who come knocking on your door uninvited

* Only buy goods or services you need from reputable retailers and tradesmen, especially those displaying the digital tick logo.

* Get several quotes to make sure any price is competitive and fair.

* If an installer says they are a member of one of the recognised schemes or trade bodies they will have a membership number and should carry their photo ID card - ask for their card and membership number and check the details.

Anyone who has concerns over installers they believe are working unsafely should call North Devon Council on 01271 388870 or Torridge District Council on 01237 428821.

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