NIE have lots of Safety advice for farmers. Following this story about a farmer who smashed into a power pole while slurrying (click here to read the full story from the Ballymena Times). Fortunately the farmer was unharmed and although over 100 homes lot power it was restored later that night. Ballymena Today wanted to share the safety measured outlined for farmers by the NIE.
Before you begin any work around the farm you should read these practical guidelines:
- Before you cut hedgerows, trim trees, spread slurry or cut silage, be aware of electricity poles, overhead lines and stay wires that are attached to some poles to provide stability.
- Avoid operating plant or using equipment where any part is likely to approach close to, or touch overhead lines.
- Be careful when moving plant or equipment from one place or another, especially with tall machines or those with long booms.
- If you have contractors working around your farm, remember to point out the location of poles, overhead lines and underground cables so they can work safely.
- Liquid slurry can conduct electric currents so spraying devices could become ‘live’ if jets were to come into contact with overhead lines. The electricity could pass through the vehicle and the body of anyone in contact with the machine.
- If you are installing drainage, digging foundations or sinking fence posts be aware that there may be electricity cables in the ground you are about to dig. Contact us and we will give you a free marked up drawing showing approximately the location of the mains electricity cables.
- Never assume that cables follow a straight line or run at the same depth.
- Never disturb electricity cables and joints or their protective covers.
- Never use a mechanical excavator within 0.5m (20in) of electricity cables.
Accidents can happen but with extra care lives could be saved. NIE can provide specific advice about any electrical cables of power lines on farmland and can produce maps and diagrams to help with any work which is happening on your farm.