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40
NOVEMBER 2019
Safety Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
41
NOVEMBER 2019
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Safety Focus
low hanging wires or wires on the ground, never
approach and contact ESB Networks immediately
on 1850 372 999. This is very important, especially
when it is dark, so always be aware of where there
are wires on your land and be prepared.
4. We came across a tractor that had caught a stay
wire and broken the pole with 20,000 voltage wires
overhead and a transformer. The wires were lying
across the cab of the tractor. There is a video called
`Farm Accident - A lucky Escape' which describes a
similar accident and the precautions you must take,
including keeping everyone else away from the cab
and not touching the cab as you exit. Contact ESB
Networks first.
5. A 20,000-volt pole was undermined by a farmer
digging a drain alongside. The power had to be
switched o to replace the pole and stay, which
caused a lot of inconvenience to neighbouring
farmers.
6. A farmer had welded a cattle pen onto the fence
protecting a transformer. It is not safe to attach
anything to ESB fences because they can become
live. That is why all ESB equipment carries the
`Danger Keep Away' safety sign.
7.
A landowner cut tree down near overhead wires
resulting in the line breaking and five cattle were
killed. Always contact ESB Networks in good
time so that the safe way of doing this work
can be properly planned.
8.
Came across a situation
where a farmer had strung an
electric fence for cattle quite up
high on an electricity pole so
that the fence wire could cross
over the road. This is extremely
dangerous. In a similar incident
a farmer was lucky not to be
electrocuted when he touched
the fence wire remotely ( to
check if it was working) and
because it was touching live
electricity wires, he received
an electric shock. Never
touch any wires.
9.
A farmer struck a
high voltage pole resulting in
the wires becoming low over a
neighbour's field, putting them
at risk, too. The same risk arises
if stays are damaged because
they are essential to ensure the
correct clearance of wires over
ground.
10.
A farmer had attached a
floodlight to a live 20,000 volt pole.
This was so dangerous that ESB
Networks could not remove the light
until the line had been switched out and
earthed.
11. An excavator was clearing ground under the 20,00
volt overhead lines. There is a minimum safety zone
of 6 metres, measured from each side of the outer
wires.
12. Stay wire broken on 20,000 volt pole by a hedge
cutter.
13. Landowner cut a tree and it fell onto 3-phase
20,000V overhead line.
14. Noticed large square bales of straw stacked under
20,000 volt line. Always keep clear 6 metres either
side.
At this time of year, it is important to be aware of the risk
of fallen wires. When hedge-cutting, please remember
to watch out for concealed parts of the pole and the
stay wire. Always clear away from near the pole by
hand. If there are trees near wires, contact ESB Networks
because it may be necessary to switch out the power
line before the trees or hedge can be cut safely.
There have been too many incidents with tree felling
where people have received serious electric shocks
when the wires fell on them; so don't take the chance.
Instead contact ESB Networks in good time so that we
can organise to visit the site and remember if the line has
to be switched out, we must notify customers 10 days in
advance of switching o the power.
There has been a worrying increase in metal theft so be
aware of the possibility of low lying or fallen wires on
your land. You may not see them in time.
The key safety message is to always keep a safe distance
from electricity wires, at least three metres. Please
remember that electricity wires are always live and never
safe to approach or touch.
Also, at this time of year, check that your RCD/trip-
switch is working by pushing the `test' button, and
re-setting afterwards. This is an important safety
device, located at Your electricity board; it operates to
disconnect supply when a fault with your equipment
occurs.
In an emergency or where you have a safety concern
involving the electricity network, contact ESB Networks
immediately.