Working safely near overhead electricity power lines cannot be ignored but too often it is overlooked and with serious consequences.
If a machine or other conductive equipment comes into contact with a live overhead power line, electricity will be conducted through it to earth. Anyone touching a machine or equipment in these circumstances risks a serious or fatal electric shock. In our land based industries we need to be vigilant as forestry and agriculture workers are often working in close proximity to power lines.
The HSE have produced a good Information page on the link below:
The Forestry Industry have a publication specific to their industry:
For Agriculture there in Agricultural Information Sheet No 8
It all boils down to a Risk Assessment. This should be the start of most of our work operations and so many of you will be familiar with the process of what to consider and how to make a decision and record the facts.
Quick reminder about the 5 Steps to Risk Assessment:
- You will need to identify the hazards
- Decide who might be harmed
- Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
- Record your findings and implement them
- Review your assessment and update if necessary
Visit the HSE website to make sure you know all the facts and then start to plan a Risk Assessment Form recording your findings ready for all those tasks ahead of you.