Farmers keep food on our tables and help bring resources, like cotton and peanuts, into our lives. Harvest season is one of the busiest times of year for local farmers - but it can also be the most dangerous.
As your safety connection, we’re providing some reminders to help people working on the farm be safe, especially around power lines. WFEC urges farmers and farmhands to keep these guidelines in mind before heading to the fields for harvesting this year. 100805001
Think about the day’s work, especially the projects near power lines.
• Protect yourself and workers by keeping farm equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines in all directions at all times.
• Use a spotter when moving or raising tall equipment and loads. A power line can be closer than it looks. Someone watching to keep equipment far away from power lines could save a life.
• Lower equipment extensions, portable augers or elevators to their lowest possible level before moving or transporting them. This lessens the possibility that wind, uneven ground and shifting weight causes you to lose control of equipment and make contact with power lines. Keep in mind that although the size of agricultural machinery has increased substantially over the years, the clearance underneath our lines might not have. Combines, peanut pickers and grain augers can reach well into the 10 foot radius around a power line. Farm vehicles with wireless communication system antennas can also make contact and energize the vehicle with deadly electricity.
• Notice height differences when loading and transporting larger modern tractors with higher antennas. 64764005
• Call your utility to repair, raise or move sagging power lines on or near your property. Never attempt to do this yourself.
• Break up bridged grain inside and around bins with wood poles or other safe material. Do not use metal poles, which are electrocution hazards.
• Be careful not to raise ladders, poles and rods into power lines. Also, remember that non-metallic materials, such as lumber, tree limbs, tires, ropes and hay can also conduct electricity.
• Use qualified electricians for work on farm electrical systems, like drying equipment.
• Wait for utility workers to de-energize a power line and confirm that it’s safe for you to exit if you are on equipment that contacts a power line. You could receive a fatal shock if you step off the equipment, because you become the electricity’s path to ground. If the vehicle is on fire and you must exit, place both feet together and jump clear of the vehicle. Then, shuffle away from the vehicle, keeping your feet together and on the ground to prevent current flow through your body.
• Stop and wait until you are well rested to perform electrical work. Accidents are more likely to happen if you’re tired after working for long hours or in extreme temperatures.
We’re connecting you to safety, because it’s the most important crop you’ll ever harvest.