NIE has launched its ‘Safety Saves Lives’ campaign after recent figures showed a rise in third party damage to the electricity network this year.
In the 2013/14 period, there were over 1,110 avoidable damages to the high and low voltage network, disrupting electricity supplies to over 51,300 homes, schools and businesses across Northern Ireland.
In east Antrim, there were 18 incidents of damage to overhead cables, resulting in 2,523 interruptions for customers. Meanwhile, there were 57 incidents of damage to underground cables, leading to 377 customer interruptions.
Head of Health, Safety and Environment at NIE Kevin McDowell said that anyone working near the electricity network must be aware of the dangers and ensure working practices have a strong safety focus.
He added: “Any contact with NIE equipment can result in a fatality and contractors, farmers and homeowners must follow safety procedures to keep themselves and all those on site safe.
“The rise in both the number of damages and the number of customers inconvenienced by these damages is disappointing, and indicates a level of complacency on work sites which puts everyone at risk.
“There are important precautions that everyone working in the vicinity of electricity equipment should take.”
For more information visit www.hseni.gov.uk or contact HSENI on 0800 0320 121. For additional safety advice and information, check the NIE website nie.co.uk/safety or call 03457 643 643.