Electricity is a wonder of nature: it is also extremely dangerous. Those were the key themes addressed by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney as he launched the new electricity safety information booklet at day two of the National Ploughing Championships.

Entitled: ‘Farm Safely with Electricity – It makes sense to check’, the booklet has been produced by ESB Networks.

“I am delighted to see ESB Networks taking a proactive role with the production of this useful booklet about electrical safety on farms. I would strongly encourage all people involved in farming to read the booklet and to work through the safety checklist and self-rating features at the end of the publication.

“The use of correctly installed and maintained electrical systems will help to reduce the number of farm accidents that occur in connection with electricity. Additionally, great care should be taken when working near overhead power lines, as contacts with the lines have caused fatalities. Farmers must always know where overhead lines are when operating tall machines, such as harvesters.

“It is important for everyone to continually highlight the need for farmers to think ‘Safety First’ in all the tasks they perform, no matter what the pressure. Simple behavioural changes are all that it takes to save lives. Taking those few extra minutes is all that’s required to improve Ireland’s farm safety record.”

Speaking at the launch, ESB’s Pat Naughton said: “On the farm it is very important to be aware of potential dangers and to always make safety a priority. The new booklet outlines seven potential electrical hazards to be aware of around farms. The four safety messages and self-rating checklist will help farmers to plan ahead, thereby keeping their families and livestock safe.

“Safety is a core value for ESB Networks and we are committed to providing a safe and secure electricity infrastructure for all of our 2.4 million electricity customers in Ireland.”