Farm Safety Around Power Lines

Published on Friday, September 25, 2020 in Community

Keep these important safety tips in mind when farming near power lines.

  • Stay at least 15 feet away from power lines in all directions, including up. ALWAYS use a spotter when moving tall equipment and loads.
  • Be careful when raising augers or the bed of a grain truck. It can be difficult to estimate distance, and sometimes a power line is closer than it looks. Again, use a spotter. Also, do not raise any equipment into power lines. Non-metallic materials, such as lumber, tree limbs, tires, ropes, and hay, will conduct electricity, depending on dampness and dust and dirt contamination.
  • Always lower equipment extensions, portable augers, or elevators to their lowest possible level before moving or transporting them. Wind, uneven ground, shifting weight, or other conditions can cause you to lose control of equipment and make contact with power lines.
  • Larger, modern tractors have higher antennas, so be aware of this when you are working.
  • Never attempt to raise or move a power line to clear a path. If power lines near your property have sagged over time, call your utility to repair them.
  • Don’t use metal poles when breaking up bridged grain inside and around bins.
  • Use qualified electricians for work on drying equipment and other farm electrical systems.

If the equipment you are using comes into contact with a power line, do not exit. You could become the electricity’s path to ground and receive a potentially fatal shock.  Call 9-1-1 and us at 800-492-5989 immediately. We must de-energize the line and confirm that it is safe for you to exit.

If the vehicle is on fire and you must exit, jump as far as you can from the vehicle with both feet together. Do not let any part of your body contact the vehicle and the ground at the same time when exiting. Keep your feet together and continue to make short hops until you are 50 feet away.