1,324 customers were affected by damage to electricity network

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NORTHERN Ireland Electricity (NIE) has launched its latest safety campaign for the contracting community.

And, as European Health and Safety Week begins the company has revealed the latest local figures on third party damage to the electricity network.

In 2011-12 there were 78 cases of damages to both overhead and underground cables, impacting on 1,324 NIE customers in both Coleraine and Ballymoney.

Through the ‘Managing Risk Together’ campaign, NIE hopes to raise awareness of the dangers of working in the vicinity of the electricity network, and what contractors can do to keep themselves and everyone working on site safe.

Kevin McDowell, Head of Health, Safety and Environment at NIE, stressed the dangers involved in working near electricity equipment without the necessary information and safety precautions.

“Any contact with NIE equipment can result in a fatality and contractors must follow safety procedures to keep all those on site safe. Every year we highlight the dangers involved, and every year people are injured because they do not put safety first.”

There is also a financial penalty for those who damage NIE equipment and ignore safety guidelines. NIE will continue to seek financial recompense from contractors and individuals who damage the electricity network. In the last year NIE has recovered over £1.78 million in repair costs from contractors and private individuals who have damaged the network.