Farm equipment striking power lines prompts reminder to look up and look around for safety
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has seen a rise this spring in the number of power line contacts by farm equipment causing a power outage and raising the potential for electrocution to the operator or damage to the equipment.
NPPD is reminding operators and farmers to look up and around for power lines when operating equipment in the fields. An accident of this nature can result in serious or even fatal injuries.
“It’s fortunate that no one has been injured in any of the incidents our crews have responded to this year,” says NPPD Vice-President of Energy Delivery Art Wiese. “We want everyone to be able to go home safe at the end of the workday, and making sure operators know where powerlines are located along their work area, can make that happen.”
If an operator does hit a power line with their equipment, they should contact their local emergency organization at 911 or NPPD at 1-877-ASK-NPPD. When an energized power line lands on a vehicle it can electrify the surrounding area and should be deenergized by a professional, so that the operator can exit the vehicle safely.
For more information see the safety tips below or check out the spring harvest safety video on NPPD’s YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pqwRQwb-LU
• Each day review all farm activities and work practices that will take place around power lines and remind all workers to take precautions. Start each morning by planning the day’s work during a tailgate safety meeting.
• Know what jobs will happen near power lines and have a plan to keep the assigned workers safe.
• Know the location of power lines, and when setting up the farm equipment, be at least 20 feet away from them.
• Contact your local public power provider if you feel this distance cannot be achieved.
• Be aware of increased height when loading and transporting larger modern tractors with higher antennas.
• Never attempt to raise or move a power line to clear a path. If power lines near your property have sagged over time, call your local public power utility to repair them.
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