Man dies after clipping power lines while hedgecutting

A man has died in Co. Limerick after he was electrocuted while hedgecutting, a Garda spokesperson has confirmed.

The accident happened in Athea, in the south of the county today, on land planted with forestry.

Gardai at Newcastlewest are investigating the death of the man, age unknown, which happened around 1pm.

It is understood that the man was out hedgecutting on farmland when he clipped power lines and was electrocuted.

The Garda spokesperson said that he died at the scene and he was then brought to University Hospital Limerick.

The scene has been preserved for a technical examination, the spokesperson confirmed.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has been notified and they have sent inspectors to the scene.

Between 2006 and 2015, three people died from electrocution, accounting for 2% of total accidents on farms in that time period.

The HSA advises people to be aware of overhead lines when working on the farm or near a forest.

Contractors and other persons entering the farm should be made aware of overhead power lines and people operating machinery should check ground clearance before passing underneath lines.

Earlier this year a man in his 60s died in Co. Kilkenny when a loader fell on him. Last year 17 people died in farming related accidents.

Teagasc Health and Safety Officer John McNamara has called on farmers to make farm safety – their own and their families’ safety, a top priority in 2016.