Be safe around power lines this harvest season

Situational awareness, staying rested key to avoiding tragedy

SaskPower is issuing a reminder about farm safety around electrical infrastructure as the 2019 harvest season gets underway.

“Farm machinery coming into contact with powerlines is unfortunately a common occurrence, despite the fact that it is completely preventable,” said Kevin Schwing, SaskPower Director of Health and Safety. “These incidents can lead to equipment damage, lengthy unplanned power outages, injuries and even death.”

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Since April 1, 2019, there have been 240 reported incidents of farm machinery contacting electrical equipment. Here are some steps you can take to stay safe this harvest season:

• Prevent fatigue by getting proper rest, drinking plenty of water and taking breaks throughout the day. • Plan your work in advance, lower equipment to the lowest possible level during moving, and use a spotter to prevent contact with overhead power lines. • If you plan to dig call 1-866-828-4888 or visit www.sask1stcall.com. SaskPower-owned underground power lines will be marked so you can stay clear of them.

If your farm equipment contacts a power line, stay in the cab and call SaskPower at 306-310-2220 or call 911. However, if the vehicle has caught fire, you must exit:

• Make sure no wires are in your way. • Cross your arms and put your feet together. • Jump as far away as you can and hop at least 10 metres, or 33 feet away – Do not touch your vehicle. 

SaskPower’s safety ambassadors are sharing these messages across Saskatchewan, visiting farm auctions, farmers’ markets, local businesses and major agricultural events. The safety ambassadors visited more than 150 communities and 260 businesses last year and are on track to meet that number again this year.

For more information on electrical safety, including prevention and steps to take if you hit a power line, go to www.saskpower.com/safety.

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