Staying Safe on the Farm

Safety Letter to Silage Contractors


Coming close to live electricity wires is hazardous and can be fatal.  Very serious electrical accidents have taken place involving silage machinery.  The minimum safe distance is 3 metres.

Never approach or touch electricity wires, or anything they may be in contact with.  If you are concerned, please phone 1800 372 999 immediately (24 hour/7 day service).

Letter to Silage Contractors | PDF 514 KB

National Farm Safety Week - Short Videos

As part of National Farm Safety Week, we visited a number of people whose lives have been changed as a result of a farming accident.  The following short videos  were created in conjunction with the Irish Farmers Journal as part of ESB Networks and the Irish Farmers Journal Safe Family Farms Joint Initiative.

Examples of actual previous accidents:

  • Welding in a farm shed
  • Electric fence connected to 230 Volts ac rather than through the electric fence unit
  • Milking machine became live due to faulty wiring
  • A silage harvester made contact with a 10,000 Volt (10kV) overhead electricity wire
  • Cutting timber close to a 20,000 Volt (20kV) overhead electricity wire.
  • Power washing a cow shed using an extension lead
  • Deaths have occurred due to accidental contact with 'live' electricity.  It is very important to be aware of potential dangers and to always make safety a priority.
  • Typical farm machinery can easily reach an overhead electricity wire.  Operating forage harvesters, combine harvesters or tipping trailers and moving high loads near overhead electricity wires are high risk activities.
  • Ensure that poles, stay-wires and protective earth wires are not damaged during farming work.  

Farm Safety Video

Safety on the Farm

Farm Family 380x364

Top 7 electrical hazards on farms

  • Fallen electricity wires
  • Wiring installation
  • Portable tools
  • Bonding and stray voltage
  • Electric fences
  • Stand-by generators
  • Machinery and high loads
Download Farm Safely with Electricity PDF | 1MB

National Wiring Rules for Electrical Installations

The National Wiring Rules for Electrical Installations make specific provisions for agricultural and horticultural premises. For example the rules specify what type of switches, sockets, plug tops and light fittings must be used in farm installations. Domestic fittings should never be used for farm installations.