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Back to Press Releases 30 September 2018

ESB Networks Safety Message for Hedge Cutters

ESB Networks Press Release

Friday September 28, 2018

ESB Networks has issued a public safety message warning people about the dangers of coming into contact with power lines when hedge cutting.

Coming in contact with overhead electricity wires is extremely dangerous and can be fatal.

ESB Networks Safety Manager Arthur Byrne says: “At this time of year, we want to remind those who are hedge and tree cutting to be mindful of the risks associated with such activity. 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.”

ESB Networks is also calling on the general public to contact them should they see any possible risks in relation to tree felling and hedge cutting. This includes tree branches scorched or branches overhanging the line or growing above.

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. Please contact ESB Networks immediately on 1850 372 999.

Please read carefully  the “Farm Safely with Electricity” Booklet which can be downloaded from our website   Also the “Guidelines for safe working near overhead lines in agriculture” and the “Code of Practice for Avoiding danger from overhead  electricity lines”. These can be downloaded from the HSA (www.hsa/ie ) and ESB Networks websites (

ESB Networks Safety Tips for Hedge Cutting

  1.  Look out for any damage on the machine that may become unattached in operation.
  2. The circular saw is by far the most dangerous attachment; keep onlookers away from its operation.
  3. Place guards around the tractor cab to protect from flying debris from the hedge.
  4. Keep windows clean to maximise visibility.
  5. Use appropriate signage and warning lamps when working on the road.
  6. Take a minute to look at the ground conditions and the field slope before starting work.
  7. Have the ESB emergency number in the tractor.
  8. Look out for overhead wires in dense foliage and high ditches.
  9. Match the hedge cutter size and tractor size.
  10. If unsure, stop and don’t ask questions later.