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People warned about dangers of power lines when cutting trees

Contact with overhead electricity wires is extremely dangerous and can be fatal.

File photo of electricity wires
File photo of electricity wires
Image: Shutterstock/peerasin Thamsawat

PEOPLE HAVE BEEN warned about the dangers of power lines when cutting hedges or trees.

ESB Networks has issued a public safety message warning people that coming into contact with overhead electricity wires is extremely dangerous and can be fatal.

ESB Networks Safety Manager Arthur Byrne said some of the most common dangers include “hedge cutters cutting into electricity stays and bringing down poles and wires”.

“There is also the risk of trees or hedges coming down on overhead wires while being cut or the hedge cutter damaging electricity poles,” Byrne said.

ESB Networks said members of the public should contact them on 1850 372 999 if they see any possible risks in relation to tree felling or hedge cutting. This includes scorched tree branches or branches overhanging or growing above a power line.

People should never, under any circumstances, touch an electricity wire or anything the wire may be in contact with, including the inside or outside of a tractor/lorry/trailer etc.

ESB Networks has provided the following safety tips for hedge/tree cutting:

  • Look out for any part of the machine that might be damaged and could become unattached while in operation
  • The circular saw is by far the most dangerous attachment; keep onlookers away from its operation
  • Place guards around the tractor cab to protect from flying debris from the hedge
  • Keep windows clean to maximise visibility
  • Use appropriate signage and warning lamps when working on a road
  • Take a minute to look at the ground conditions and the field slope before starting work
  • Have the ESB emergency number in the tractor
  • Look out for overhead wires in dense foliage and high ditches
  • Match the hedge cutter size and tractor size
  • If unsure about a risk, stop what you’re doing 

More information can be read here.

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Órla Ryan

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