Agriculture is the backbone of our country, and our livelihood greatly depends on the crops provided by American farmers. In addition to being one of the most labor-intensive professions, farming is also considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S.
The hard work and exhaustive labor are tough but rushing the job to save time can be extremely dangerous - even deadly - when farming near electrical equipment.
Every year, we see collisions where tractors and other farming equipment accidentally collide with utility poles and power lines, causing injuries and power outages. These dangerous accidents can be avoided by looking up and around your surroundings when operating large farm machinery.
Make sure EVERYONE is trained on safe practices around power transmission. This includes you, your employees, seasonal workers, family members, and anyone else accessing your farm.
KEEP IN MIND:
Bigger equipment allows farmers to cover more ground in less time; however, this can be a hazard when electrical infrastructures are nearby. In addition, inexperienced, fatigued or distracted operators are more likely to come in contact with a power line or pole.
PLANNING A NEW GRAIN BIN?
Communicate early with Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative and Corn Belt Power Cooperative for a safe and cost-effective new grain bin.
Before planning for a new grain bin or moving an existing bin, contact your Cooperative's local energy advisor to review the specific safety clearances along with the electric service requirements and associated charges. Please allow a minimum of six to eight weeks lead-time so power will be ready when and where you need it.
HARVEST SAFETY TIPS FOR FARMWORKERS
- Maintain a 10-foot clearance around all utility equipment in all directions.
- Use a spotter and deployed flags to maintain safe distances from power lines and other equipment when doing field work.
- If your equipment does hit a power line, pole, or guy wire, do not leave the cab. Immediately call 9-1-1, warn others to stay away, and wait for the utility crew to cut the power. In case of smoke or fire, exit the cab by making a solid jump out of the cab, without touching it at the same time, and hop away to safety.
- Consider equipment and cargo extensions or your vehicle. Lumber, hay, tree, limbs, irrigation pipe and even bulk materials can conduct electricity, so keep them out of contact with electrical equipment.