Farming Safety: Overhead Power Lines
As farmworkers return to the fields, we urge everyone to be alert to the dangers of working near overhead power lines. Follow these helpful tips to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you!
- Keep equipment at least 10 feet from overhead lines. Electricity is always looking for a path to ground. Any object that comes in contact with a power line or comes close to the line can create a part to ground and become energized and, therefore, deadly.
- When working near power lines, stay focused on equipment location and consider using a spotter. A spotter can see sagging wires that are not visible on a GPS and provide confirmation of safe clearance.
- Be aware of increased height when loading and transporting equipment on trailer beds.
- Lower extensions like spray booms, planter arms or cultivators to the lowest setting whenever possible.
- Designate preplanned routes that avoid electrical hazard areas.
- Never attempt to raise or move a power line.
- When parking equipment, always look up and double check the area around your equipment to make sure it is not in contact with overhead lines.
- Prior to making any elevation changes within a power line right-of-way – through the addition of terraces, pond dams, buildings or any other addition that reduces the ground-to-line clearance – please contact us so we can ensure there are no safety code violations that will result from the change.
- Know how to stay safe if equipment makes contact with power lines. Visit energizingsafety.coop or safeelectricity.org for more information.
- When planning or a new grain bin, keep electrical safety in mind (see reverse for more information).
Landowners and farm managers should make sure tenant farmers and ALL farmworkers are educated on these and other electric safety precautions. For more information, visit energizingsafety.coop.