Electric shock while at work: warning in the agriculture industry

Farmers are being warned about the risk of electrocution or severe electric shock while at work.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, on average two people are killed by electricity every year in agriculture in the UK.

Local insurance firm Cornish Mutual has recently launched a campaign entitled Farm Safe in a bid to cut the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by electricity in agriculture. The campaign warns against the danger of poorly maintained electrical installations and equipment.

Philip Wilson, field force manager at Cornish Mutual, said: “With electricity, as with so much in agriculture, assessing the risks and taking simple precautions can mean the difference between life and death; as can knowing what to do should an accident occur and ensuring you and your farm workers have adequate first-aid training.”

Risk assessment of electrical items at work should be made by experts, who will be able to ensure the items are suitable for use and meet the legal requirements. This is one of the key preventive steps for agricultural workers working with or close to electricity.

Regular inspection of equipment is essential to prevent these accidents. The wiring and condition of all portable tools, including hired or borrowed ones, should also be regularly inspected to ensure that electrical systems used at work are safe.