September is Farm Safety Month.
Farming is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Sometimes on the farm, equipment that is normally helpful becomes lethal during an accident. Electricity is essential to the modern farmer, but can be deadly.
Farmers should be aware of special safety precautions since they often use large equipment and ladders that put them close to overhead power lines. Safe Electricity has the following tips to keep you safe on the farm.
- Always lower a portable grain auger before you move it, even if only a few feet.
- Keep all objects at least 10 feet away from overhead lines. Know where all overhead power lines are located on your property and inform all workers about them.
- Plan your route between fields, to bins and elevators, and on public roads so that you avoid low-hanging power lines. If someone else transports large equipment, always specify a safe route and explain why certain routes must be taken.
- Be sure you and everyone else in your operation know what to do in an emergency.
- If equipment gets hung up on a power line, the operator should NOT get off the machinery unless in immediate danger. If the operator touches the ground and the equipment at the same time, he or she will become a channel for electricity.
- If you must leave the equipment, jump as far away from the machinery as possible. Never get back on machinery that touches a power line until the utility company disconnects the line.
- Investigate the possibility of burying power lines in heavily used areas on the farm, such as around grain bins.
- Electric lines sag as years go by. Do not try to move a power line out of the way. Contact your utility to fix the line, so you can operate farm equipment with enough clearance.
- Use a spotter. It can be difficult to tell where you are in relation to overhead lines. A spotter can help you stay far away from power lines.
Be sure to share this important safety information with all farm workers and family members.