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Safety Guidelines For Farmers

Before you begin any work around the farm you should read these practical guidelines:

Overhead Lines

  • 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.

Underground Cables

  • 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.

Get The HSE Safety Leaflet

Further information is available from the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) and ordering a copy of HSE Guidance Note GS6: Avoidance of danger from overhead electric power lines.

For further guidance on underground services, see HSE Guidance Document HSG47: Avoiding Danger From Underground Services.