Electrical current passing through the body can cause severe burns and kill. Electrical shorts can cause unexpected movements and control failure.
Types of machinery
- Conveyors, potato sorting and cleaning lines, automatic feeders, poultry stunners – contact with live parts that are energised during normal or fault conditions
- Combines, sprayer booms, bale stackers – contact with high-voltage overhead power lines
- Low voltage sensing and electronic control systems – shorts causing unexpected operation.
- Inappropriate or lack of, circuit and personal protection devices
- Failure to repair damage to insulation
- Folding booms and driving tall equipment under power lines.
- Failure to de-energise control systems before maintenance
- Machinery with an electrical power supply must be designed and constructed to prevent electrical hazards arising from the foreseeable conditions of use.
- Generally machinery should be designed in accordance with the Low Voltage Directive.
- The minimum height of 11,000 volt power lines across farmland in the UK is 5.2 metres.
- Design folding or extending parts so that they can be used safely.
- Ensure additional safeguards and warnings are provided for machinery capable of approaching or touching high voltage overhead cables.
- Provide covers for exposed terminals on low voltage systems.
- Locate electronics in suitably protected areas or enclosures.
Operator instructions and training
Instructions for using this type of machinery must include clear guidance on:
- The need to ensure correct installation and maintenance
- The risks from working on energised machinery and control systems
- Information about the height of the machine.