|With over half of farm safety incidents happening during the months of April and June, SaskPower is reminding farmers to take the extra time to look up while working around overhead power lines in order to prevent serious injuries or death.
According to SaskPower, the spring seeding season is typically when the Crown corporation sees a spike in farm machinery coming in contact with power lines. A surge is also seen during harvest in the fall.
“It is important that as farmers go out in the fields these days and work long hours, they take extra caution when working near power lines,” said Scott McGregor, a media relations consultant for SaskPower.
SaskPower said more than 300 incidents involving farm equipment contacting overhead power lines are reported each year. The power company said that this is easily preventable.
“First thing to do is to certainly be prepared. Know the route that you are going to be taking before you head out and if you can avoid power lines, certainly do so,” said McGregor.
SaskPower has a program that moves power lines, and therefore, recommends that farmers give them a call if power lines are along their route. However, there are ways to avoid power lines, including having a spotter and being well-rested before operating equipment.
“It’s hard to do, especially with the last bout of snow that we had and all the farmers rushing our to get the seed in the ground,” McGregor said.
Farmers are also advised to collapse all of the equipment on their machinery.
“Farm machinery has never been bigger than it has been and so seeing line contacts especially during seeding and harvesting is common.”
If line contact does occur, SaskPower recommends that people remain in their vehicle, if safe to do so. Those that cannot remain in their vehicles are advised to jump as far away from the car as possible and hop ten metres away with arms glued to their side.