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Electrical Power Safety on the Farm During the Harvest Season

Sep 13, 2008
As fall approaches and the days become shorter its harvest season on the farm all over again. One can never play too safe on the farm. Be more than sure to keep yourself, your family and those who both visit with your on your farmstead and admire your fields are or workers along with you to be "farm safe" during the busy harvesting seasons.

What rules, policies and procedures should be followed in order to maintain safety on the farm - whether it is a large operation or a smaller family homestead?

First of all take the time to tour your farmyard and identify and all possible electrical safety danger areas and even areas that could be of concern in regards to safety matters.

The first and foremost rule always to be followed and adhered to is that machinery must be able to freely pass under all power lines both in the farmyard and adjacent work areas. Watch out that machinery can clear both these power lines and near field entrances and road ways with more than plenty of room to spare. You can never be too sure. If you are not 100 % fully satisfied with the clearance and safety then promptly plan for another alternate route. Ensure that these directions are specified and explained to all farm hands and workers.

Next make it a point that during the harvesting period to have all machinery such as grain augers and truck boxes to be lowered before passing under any power lines.

If equipment is going to, or has to be moved during the course of the day's work then this equipment should always be moved slowly and carefully. Constantly check in these situations to be 100 % sure that these clearances to overhead power lines are maintained.

All it takes is for one minor mistake to be a major tragic accident. Along with these polices and rules ensure that no one is allowed to ride on top of moving farm equipment or hay bales.

If the situation or situations arise where overhead power lines do present an ongoing and constant danger and hazard then consult with your lower power authorities or utility to have these conduits placed or relocated underground to avoid any contact with vehicles in the yard and prevent possible mishaps. Similarly if there are hay bales and haystacks these should be placed and located a good distance away from power lines.

A recommended minimum distance is 30 feet away from these electrical lines.

In the same way if any new buildings or structures are planned - whether temporary in nature for the season or for a short time span or buildings meant to be of a more permanent nature - then again the planning should involve them being placed a good distance away from any of the electrical power lines that avail. In a similar vein if any of these buildings are structures are near or do abut near power lines instruct all staff on safety policies and procedures to ensure that any work done - with equipment - whether vehicular in nature - such as moving trucks or farm implements, or using structures such as ladders that electrical safety measures and procedures always be implemented to the greatest measure.

The importance of safety on the farm during the fall harvest season can not be overly emphasized especially in regards to power lines and electricity. A mistake can happen in a split second or a flash and can have tragic results. Always play it safe around electrical power on the farm all throughout the year - not only during the fall harvest season.
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