Power lines and farm equipment: Know what to do

Posted on Sep 29 2019 in Kankakee Valley REMC

Harvest season is just around the corner. Kankakee Valley REMC reminds area farmers of the dangers that power lines pose when you’re moving machinery in and out of the field. 

The most common risk of electrocution for farm workers, according to the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, comes from overhead power lines. Tall equipment, such as grain augers, combines and raised dump truck beds, can easily become entangled in the lines. 

Remember these safety tips to reduce the risk of electrocution if your equipment should meet a power line.

• If you can, it is safest to stay inside the machinery until emergency personnel or someone from the electric co-op can disconnect service to the area where your equipment is located. If you must get out of the machinery (for example, if the machinery is on fire), don’t touch the machinery and the ground at the same time with any part of your body or clothing. With the door open, prepare to jump. Stand up, elbows tucked into your stomach and your hands held close to your chest. 

• Jump out and away from the machinery, taking care to land with your feet together and touching. Don’t stumble.

• Shuffle away with your feet touching. Don’t stop until you’re at least three tractor lengths away from the machinery. 

• Call 911 and ensure that no bystanders come within 40 feet of the machinery. 

• Once away from the equipment, never attempt to get back on or even touch the equipment. 

Kankakee Valley REMC hopes you have a successful harvest season. Please take care when moving equipment to make sure you are looking up and down when moving and operating harvest equipment. If you see something that concerns you, please contact our office at 219-733-2511.