May: National Electrical Safety Month

Did you know that May is National Electrical Safety Month? At FS Construction Services, we have to treat every day as if it were Electrical Safety Day, because most of our pole barn, steel building, and grain systems projects require significant electrical knowledge and strict safety measures. What we’re saying is, our experienced staff think about electrical safety all the time. However, we understand that this isn’t the case for everyone, and so in honor of this month, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some electrical safety tips.

The following list is taken from the Electrical Safety Foundation International’s website, and while it is specifically targeted towards agricultural safety, many of these tips are easily applied to construction as well.

  • Locate all overhead power lines.
  • Keep self and equipment 10 feet away from all overhead power lines.
  • Do not touch anything that is in contact with the power line.
  • Beware of fencing near power lines.
  • Carry ladders and other equipment horizontally.
  • Lower equipment apparatus before driving.
  • Never spray near power lines with irrigation systems.
  • Stay at least 35 feet away from fallen power lines.

While these may seem self-evident, the ESFI does note that, “Contact with overhead power lines is the leading cause of electrical fatalities for agricultural workers.” So stay smart and stay safe out there.

These next safety tips come from our friends at Shivvers Manufacturing. Though we’re nearing the end of spring, there still may be those looking to build new grain bins in preparation for harvest. When looking to add a new grain storage, drying or handling and transfer capabilities to your operation, here are some important clearance requirements to keep in mind.

Vertical clearance over the bin is the highest point of the bin plus 18 feet. Horizontal clearance on the bin’s loading side is actually the same as the vertical clearance, the highest point of the bin plus 18 feet. One note on vertical clearance, it must be maintained away from the bin for the whole length of the horizontal clearance, and then maintained outward at one foot down for every 1.5 feet further out. So basically, imagine a giant trapezoid around your grain bin. Additionally, it’s recommended that a grain bin with a 15’ diameter be placed at least 55 feet away from the nearest power line. This goes up to 80 feet minimum for a 25’ diameter bin and 143 feet minimum for a 50’ diameter bin.

There are, of course, many more suggestions, requirements, and recommendations for electrical safety, and to view more of them you can go to ESFI’s website.

At Gateway FS Construction Services, we take electrical safety seriously, and we know that a good job is also a safely done job. If you have any questions about buildings or equipment, give our expert team a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.