During fall harvest, we encourage our farmers to take all precautionary safety measures including being highly aware of the dangers of overhead power lines and the precautions to take while working around them. The increasing danger of power lines is a very serious matter and Safe Electricity, a public awareness program of Energy Education Council (EEC), is raising awareness to all participating during harvest.
Safe Electricity stated that during busy times, especially harvest, many farmers may not always realize how close they’re working to electrical equipment. Movements of machinery such as grain augers from bin to bin can lead to disaster if workers aren’t careful and aware of the serious dangers. It’s wise to check daily of the movement of your equipment to ensure that it’ll be clear of all power lines. Standard clearance of power lines over streets and rural areas are typically 18 feet and 12.5 feet over residential private property.
Safe Electricity advises farm operators and workers to:
- Always use a spotter when operating large machinery near power lines
- Use care when raising augers or the bed of grain trucks around power lines
- Keep equipment at least 10 feet from power lines at all times and in all directions
- Inspect the height of the farm equipment to determine clearance
- Always remember to lower extensions to the lowest setting when moving loads
- Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance
- If a power line is sagging or low, call the local utility immediately
If there happens to be contact made with a power line, remember to remain with the equipment, warn others to stay clear and call the utility company immediately. If your equipment catches fire, the operator/worker should jump clear of the equipment while keeping both feet together, without touching the equipment and the ground at the same time. Once on the ground, make sure to keep both feet together and hop to a safe distance away from the equipment.
To read the full article, click here. And for additional information and safety tips on power lines during harvest, visit Safe Electricity or call one of our specialists at FS Construction Services at 866-551-3454.