Are your electric installations ready for harvest time?
Posted on 12th July 2019
Electric farm equipment and installations have become essential in a modern agricultural environment.
They make so many things easier and simpler and help to keep people safe.
However, farms can be risky places for electrical installations, so regular maintenance and repair is important.
According to estimates, some 40 people are electrocuted on farms every year, so a regular review of the risks of electrical fires and shocks is important. Over time, the combination of inside and outside elements in agricultural buildings can lead to water exposure, grounding risks for electrical equipment, and even exposed the wiring.
Good electrical maintenance protects business owners, property and employees. There are also strict health and safety standards for agricultural environments.
The Health and Safety Executive says that anyone who owns an agricultural facility must maintain safe standards of operation. If these standards aren’t met, insurance could be invalidated.
These standards include:
• protecting agricultural wiring systems with RCDs (residual current devices).
• using agricultural tools operated at reduced voltage from a safety isolating transformer
• wiring systems protected at a rate of IP44, which means that they’re away from splashing water, and insulation can withstand around 500 volts for a period of at least one minute.
Electrical hazards in agricultural environments
Electrical risks in an agricultural environment can range from animal waste creating flammable vapours through to high humidity in milking parlours. Moisture levels and livestock can cause physical damage to light fixtures, wiring, and many other equipment parts.
Apart from keeping people, property and livestock safe, regular electrical maintenance can also help to save you money by avoiding costly breakdowns and disputes with insurance companies.
Regular electrical inspections should be included in your agricultural maintenance plan. A qualified electrician can test farm equipment and wiring and give advice on anything that might need to be repaired or replaced. Inspections can include:
• appliance and component testing and repair
• security lighting installations
• periodic condition reports
• maintenance of electric farm equipment.
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