As you know, Electricity is a powerful and versatile source of energy but can be dangerous if not used properly, so we all need to make safety a priority on farms, in the work place and in the family home.
There are many electrical incidents which damage equipment and thousands of ‘near-misses’, all of which could have had fatal consequences.
Working near overhead power lines, tillage farmers & contractors operating high equipment, moving high loads, handling bales with front end loaders, harvesting machinery, wide harrows and sprayers with wide booms are at risk of impacting ESB poles and other attachments.
Remember that arcing of electricity can occur without direct contact with electricity so working too close to an overhead power line you could be at serious risk of death or injury.
Typical farm machinery can easily reach an overhead power line. To ensure farm safety Arthur Byrne, Public Safety Manager with ESB Networks says that “we need to ensure that poles, stay-wires and protective earth wires (attached to poles) are not damaged during farming work.”
Machinery operators work long hours during harvesting and may not notice low hanging wires especially when visibility is poor late in the evening or they may have reduced visibility of overhead wires during strong sunlight.
Eugene Ryan and his father Hugh former Deputy President of IFA have a significant cereal enterprise on their farm near Ballycarroll, Portlaoise.
They grow TABERNA malting barley for Boormalt in Athy, SPARROW spring wheat for Odlums in Portarlington and DOKTRIN Oil Seed rape for processing to rapeseed oil by Biogreen in Adamstown, Co. Wexford.
In the photo are Eugene & his father Hugh Ryan (former Deputy President of IFA) and Charles Gallagher, Chief Executive of the IHFA whose members are major users of home grown Irish cereals in their dairy herd rations.
Photo captions: Eugene (tractor driver) , Hugh and Charles Gallagher (wearing a cap) are discussing the danger to machinery operators when working near low hanging overhead power wires.
In case of emergency farmers and Agri contractors should phone 1850 372 999 (24 hour/7 day service) or check out the ESB website for further safety information www.esbnetworks.ie