|Preparation and Awareness are Keys to a Safe Harvest|
|Library of Articles - Farm Safety|
Harvest season is one of the busiest times of year for farmers – and among the most dangerous. Before taking to the fields, Safe Electricity urges farm workers to be aware of overhead power lines and to keep equipment and extensions far away from them. As part of the “Teach Learn Care TLC” campaign, the program encourages farm manager to share this information with their families, and workers to keep them safe from farm related electrical accidents.
“Electrical equipment around the fields, such as power lines in the end row areas, may get overlooked during such a hectic time of year,” says Molly Hall of Safe Electricity. “However, failure to notice overhead power lines can be a deadly oversight.”
Safe Electricity urges farm workers to heed these safety measures:
Electrical work around the farm can also pose hazards. Often the need for an electrical repair comes at a time when a farmer has been working long hours and is fatigued. At such times its best to step back and wait until you’ve rested. Make sure you have the level of expertise required to do the electrical work, and never hesitate contact a qualified electrician when appropriate. Doing electrical work is also a good time to check your wires because mice and other animals tend to chew at them, leaving the electrical hazard of bare wires that can cause electrical shorts and potentially fatal shocks.
“It’s also important for farm equipment operators to know what to do if the farm equipment comes in contact with a power line,” Safety Expert Kyle Finley says. “Staying inside the vehicle unless there’s fire or imminent risk of fire, is generally the best course of action. If the power line is energized and you step outside, your body becomes the path and electrocution is the result. Warn others who may be nearby to stay away and wait until the electric utility arrives to make sure power to the line is cut off.”
If there is a threat of fire or other risk, the proper action is to jump – not step – with both feet hitting the ground at the same time. Do not allow any part of your body to touch the equipment and the ground at the same time. Continue to hop or shuffle to safety, keeping both feet together as you leave the area. Once you are away from the equipment, never attempt to get back on or even touch the equipment. Many electrocutions occur when the operator dismounts and, realizing nothing has happened, tries to get back on the equipment.