Farm Guide VIC : 2012-13
75 Farm Safety "While brick chimneys are designed to safely remove combustion products from the home, they can deteriorate over time," Mr Fearon said. "Any holes in the mortar or brick work could stop the chimney drawing properly and, if the fault is bad enough, it may create back pressure that could push toxic carbon monoxide into living areas." Mr Fearon said in addition to the reported deaths, it was estimated that more than 100 people were affected by CO poisoning each year. "The symptoms of CO poisoning can include headaches, fatigue and nausea," he said. "In high concentrations, it can cause death. "ESV ran an extensive awareness campaign about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning last autumn and I'm pleased that so many Victorians heeded our warnings and had their heaters checked. We heard dozens of stories about dangerous heaters that were identifed and fxed in the lead-up to winter. "In one case, a family booked a service after they found their goldfsh dead in the morning when the heater was left on overnight. Another woman had her mother's heater checked when she became concerned about her declining health. That heater was found to be spilling CO, and the elderly woman soon recovered. "We want every Victorian who hasn't had their gas heater serviced in the past two years to ensure it is done before winter. Don't let your family fall victim to this silent killer." ESV wishes to remind farmers and rural workers of these other important electricity & gas safety issues that must be observed on farms. They include: Electricity • Look out for deteriorating and aged electricity wiring and installation in farm sheds, outbuildings and in some farm houses. • Don’t overuse extension leads and powerboards. • Be aware of damage to fuse boards that have not been repaired • Connecting the earthing on electric fence units to farm buildings is a very dangerous practice that can explain why electric shocks are received from taps in farm properties; • Monitor the condition of private overhead electric lines. Many are left in a dangerous condition because of sagging lines, rotten poles, damaged cross arms, a general lack of maintenance, and trees and vegetation growing across the lines or in close vicinity; Gas ESV wishes to remind landowners and occupiers that cooperation is vital to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of gas pipelines. Safety records show that a signifcant cause of damage to underground pipelines is excavation or earthmoving activity carried out without the knowledge of the pipeline owner.