Here at MJH Electricals, we are proud to provide a range of specialist electrical services for the agricultural industry. Understanding the unique demands here is essential – especially when it comes to reducing the risk of injury and prioritising safety. Farms, for example, pose several hazards that need to be properly understood and approached. They are also essential to the livelihood of entire families and, therefore, the impact of downtime can be significant. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the reasons why you need to consider a specialist when tackling farm-related electrical projects.
High Levels Of Flammable Or Combustible Materials
Working with electricity in any setting poses a fire risk. However, farms and agricultural settings take this to a new level. Chemicals including pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers pose a flammable hazard, alongside sparks, heaters, fence chargers and batteries. Meanwhile, dry materials such as hay, straw and bedding material can ignite in seconds. Strong winds can wreak havoc on overhead wires, increasing the chance of electrical fires which, in the right environment (such as a barn) can spread like wildfire.
A specialist farm electrician will be able to advise on the installation and maintenance of each electrical machine. This will be done to reduce the risk of fire, separating combustible products from sources of ignition and maintaining cords for optimal safety too.
Damp And Corrosive Environment
Confined livestock areas are notoriously damp – caused by everything from food and waste products through to the animals themselves. Alongside this, there is generally high foot traffic from outdoors. Wet weather conditions don’t just impact the outdoor spaces but will also be transferred indoors, increasing moisture content. Everyone knows that electricity and water do not mix – in fact, they are a recipe for a safety disaster.
A specialist farm electrician understands these risks and also works to provide a solution that reduces these hazards. For example by fitting ground-fault circuit interrupters, suggesting equipment designed to prevent shock and utilising UF or NM type electrical wiring.
Metallic Building Structures
Many commercial barns are built from sheet metal for cost and durability purposes. While this lends a host of benefits to the farmer, it also increases the risk of electrical shock. If these surfaces come into contact with a direct electrical current, the results can be significant for employees and visitors. Working with a specialist farm electrician allows you to design systems that fit around these structures, eliminating/reducing the risk of contact and thereby cutting the chance of accidents too.
Prevalence Of Rodents
Working farms are breeding grounds for many rodents due to the abundance of food and water available there. This also increases the risk of damage to electrical cords from chewing and nibbling – thereby further increasing the risk of electrical shocks. An engineer with farm specialism will be able to suggest solutions such as sealed installations, maintenance and regular checks.