SaskPower is reminding farmers to be safe around electrical infrastructure during this year’s harvest season.
“Farm machinery coming into contact with power lines is unfortunately a common occurrence, despite the fact that it is completely preventable,” said Kevin Schwing, SaskPower’s director of health and safety. “These incidents can lead to equipment damage, lengthy unplanned power outages, injuries and even death.”
Since April 1, 2019, there have been 240 reported incidents of farm machinery contacting electrical equipment. SaskPower has issued the following steps for agriculture workers to stay safe this harvest season:
•Prevent fatigue by getting proper rest, drinking plenty of water and taking breaks throughout the day.
•Plan your work in advance, lower equipment to the lowest possible level during moving and use a spotter to prevent contact with overhead power lines.
•If you plan to dig, call 1-866-828-4888 or visit www.sask1stcall.com.
If farm equipment contacts a power line, stay in the cab and call SaskPower at 1-306-310-2220 or call 911. However, if the vehicle has caught fire, the worker must exit and make sure no wires are in their way, cross their arms and put their feet together, and jump as far away as possible and hop at least 10 metres away. Do not touch the vehicle.
SaskPower’s safety ambassadors are sharing these messages across Saskatchewan, visiting farm auctions, farmers’ markets, local businesses and major agricultural events. The safety ambassadors visited more than 150 communities and 260 businesses last year and are on track to meet that number again this year, SaskPower said.