Mid Ulster farmers survive brush with death

NIE Safety Engineer Mark Moore advises local farmer John Hill about working safely near the electricity network.
NIE Safety Engineer Mark Moore advises local farmer John Hill about working safely near the electricity network.

A total of about ten farmers in the Mid Ulster Region have narrowly escaped death after hitting an electricity cable in the past year.

The figures were released by the Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) after the launch of a new safety campaign to help farmers and agricultural contractors stay safe when working around the electricity network this harvest season.

In all there were 130 incidents in Northern Ireland where farm vehicles came into contact with the electricity network, and any of these incidents could have resulted in a fatality, said a spokesperson.

With over 32,000km of overhead lines running across the country, NIE is encouraging farm workers to be vigilant around the network. Hal Steele, NIE Safety Engineer, says it’s a busy but potentially dangerous time for the farming community.

“At this time of the year with the days starting to shorten, judging heights and distances, especially when tired or operating in reduced light at dusk or dawn, can be challenging for farm workers.

“Electricity can jump gaps and any contact with overhead powerlines can cause electric shock or death. It’s vital that everyone working near the electricity network makes time for safe working, both when planning work and while carrying it out.

NIE hopes that the proactive approach to raising awareness will help reduce the chance of further incidents in the weeks, months and years ahead.

For more safety information go to nie.co.uk and you can also follow us on Twitter @NIElectricity or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nieapprentices.

If you would like to order free cab safety stickers call NIE on 03457 643 643.