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40
NOVEMBER 2019
Safety Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
41
NOVEMBER 2019
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Safety Focus
Farm safely with
electricity
Arthur Byrne, Public Safety Manager, ESB Networks, outlines the precautionary measures farmers
should take when working around electricity wires and cables.
Electricity is an ever-present on farms and with that we
tend to become complacent. Electricity must always
be treated with respect because there are no second
chances. A fraction of the current that it takes to light
a bulb is enough to cause electric shock and may even
result in a fatality.
This year already there have been 20 serious incidents
when carrying out farm activities Too close to overhead
electricity wires; these have involved felling trees,
stacking bales, damage caused to electricity poles and
stays.
In all these cases there was a real risk to life. While ESB
Networks sta will always respond 24/7 to emergencies
and intervene when we come across dangerous
situations, it is up to everyone to be responsible and
work safely where there are overhead electricity wires or
underground cables nearby.
Here are actual examples of incidents from this year:
1. Cable, attached to the pole damaged: it would
appear that someone had previously cut trees from
around the low voltage pole and the branches
became snagged on the
cable. When the timber
was removed, the cable
was damaged.
2. While carrying out our
safety patrols, we found
that someone had
attached a sign by drilling
into the metal cable
guard, used to protect
the cable on the pole.
A similar incident some
time ago resulted in a
child losing part of their
arm.
3. We noticed low wires
on a 110,000 volt line
(steel mast/twin poles) . It
transpired that one of the
wires had been cut down
by criminals involved in metal
theft. If you come across