Look up for power lines this harvest season
Harvest is one of the busiest times of the year in our region, but no one is ever too busy to be reminded about the importance of electrical safety. Don’t fall powerless to power lines by not taking the time to look up for potential hazards. Here are some simple things to keep everyone safe this harvest season.
Locate & identify
Make sure you, your family, and your farm workers know where power lines are located on your property. Everyone should know the height of all your farm equipment and how high nearby power lines are to prevent accidental contact. If you need to work close to an energized line, use a spotter to ensure you and your equipment remain safe. Non-metallic items such as lumber, rubber, and hay can conduct electricity depending on dampness or dust contamination.
Work at a safe distance
It is best always to assume a power line is energized and dangerous. Make sure everyone understands that any contact with these lines creates a path to the ground for electricity and carries the potential for a serious - even fatal - accident. A good rule of thumb is to stay at least 10 feet away from all power lines.
Lower before you go
Lowering your equipment to the lowest possible setting is one way not to fall powerless to power lines. Ensure extensions, portable augers, and other equipment are under 14 feet tall before transporting. Wind or uneven ground can cause you to lose control of extended equipment and possibly contact a power line.
Stay away & stay calm
If your equipment ever comes in contact with an electric pole, do not get out and examine it. Call 9-1-1 and wait until the line has been de-energized before exiting your equipment. If your equipment catches fire or it is no longer safe to remain inside, do not touch any part of it as you attempt to exit. Cross your arms over your chest to protect yourself from creating any electrical pathways and jump clear of the equipment with both feet together. Bunny hop as far as you can away from your equipment, keeping your feet together.