Columbus, Neb. – Wet conditions and flooding during the early weeks of spring have caused delays for farmers wanting to get out to their fields, and Nebraska Public Power District reminds equipment operators to be wary of powerlines as they begin planting.
If an equipment operator hits a powerline it can result in a dangerous, potentially fatal, situation. “It’s important that all farm workers look up and around and determine where power lines are before moving large pieces of equipment under them,” said NPPD Director of Delivery Art Wiese. “We want to keep the lights on, but most importantly we want farmers and their crews to go home safe every day.”
Wiese explained that if a piece of farm equipment gets tangled in a power line, the first thing to do is contact 911 and remain inside the vehicle as the line may still be energized. Law enforcement can contact NPPD or one of the many rural public power districts to respond.
If you’re forced to leave the vehicle, jump as far away as possible from the equipment, making sure no body part touches the tractor and the ground at the same time. It is important to land standing up with both feet together. The individual should then shuffle their feet, making sure to never break contact with the ground or cause separation between the feet. Do not attempt to return to the equipment and always wait for emergency responders and the power utility to respond.
For more information see the safety tips below or check out the spring harvest safety video on NPPD’s YouTube page. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pqwRQwb-LU [youtube.com]
- 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 public power utility to repair them.