Take A Moment To Prevent Tragedy This Harvest

August 28, 2018

With harvest underway in some parts of the province, SaskPower reminds everyone to take your time and be aware of overhead power lines crossing fields and farm yards.

“Each year in our province, there are a number of power line contacts which can cause injury or even death, having a significant impact on families, friends and communities,” said Kevin Schwing, SaskPower Director of Health and Safety. “It’s absolutely essential that you take your time and identify those risks before going about your work. In the case of an equipment move, that means planning ahead before you’re even in the field.”

Since April 1, there have been 230 reported incidents of farm machinery coming into contact with electrical equipment. Some common causes of power line contacts include fatigue and underestimating the height or width of equipment when working near powerlines.

“Fatigue is especially important to keep in mind as the days get shorter, the temperature starts dropping, and producers are working to ensure this year’s crop makes it to the bin,” Schwing said.

All power line contacts are preventable. You can take steps to protect yourself, including:

  • Take multiple breaks throughout the day and ensure you get plenty of rest before heading to work. Drinking plenty of water can also help prevent fatigue.
  • Be aware of the power lines around you and plan your route ahead of time. Lower equipment where needed and use a spotter to prevent contact.
  • Call 1-866-828-4888 or visit www.sask1stcall.com before you dig. We will send someone out to locate any underground lines so you can avoid them while doing your work.

If your farm equipment contacts a power line, stay in the cab and call SaskPower at 306-310-2220 or 911. If the vehicle has caught fire and it is not safe to do so, you need to get out. After making sure there are no wires in your way, cross your arms and put your feet together. Jump as far away as you can and hop at least 10 metres away. Do not touch your vehicle. For more information on electrical safety, including prevention and steps to take if you hit a power line, go to www.saskpower.com/safety.  We want everyone in Saskatchewan to Come Home Safe Tonight.

At a glance...

  • Identify the hazards, plan your routes in advance, and take your time when working near electricity
  • There have been 230 reported incidents of farm machinery contacting power equipment since April 1
  • If your equipment contacts a power line, stay in the cab and call 306-310-2220 or 911

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