Work Safely Around Power Lines

Electricity is just as important on the farm as in the office today but presents more potential hazards for the farmer or rancher than for the computer operator. Every year, serious accidents involving electricity occur on American farms. Most could be prevented with a few simple safety steps.First, make sure that you, your family and your farm workers know the location of overhead power lines, and map out ways to avoid them when moving equipment. Make sure everyone understands that any contact with these lines creates a path to the ground for electricity and carries the potential for a serious, even fatal, accident.

Everyone should know the height of all your farm equipment and how high those power lines are to prevent accidental contact. A good rule of thumb is to stay at least 10 feet away from power lines.

Be extra-careful when moving irrigation pipes. Many electrical accidents on farms occur when irrigation pipes are accidentally raised into power lines. The combination can be deadly!

Avoid moving large equipment alone. Have someone watch out for you as you drive equipment to ensure that you stay clear of the power lines.

These rules also apply to guy wires, which support power line poles. Damaging guy wires can weaken the poles and even cause them to topple, bringing live power lines down onto the ground and creating an extremely hazardous situation.

Do you have questions about electrical safety in your home or on your farm? Call your electric cooperative for assistance. Your co-op is always glad to help – after all it’s a consumer-owned utility.

Source: Food and Energy Council website