September 20, 2019
As we enter the busy harvest season, Otter Tail Power Company reminds farmers to pay special attention to what’s above their heads and within reach of their machinery while completing harvest work.
“When you’re working long hours or rushing to beat the weather, it’s easy to overlook power lines and related equipment,” says Greg Overland, the company’s Safety Services Manager. “But it’s important to plan ahead and caution employees and family members working with you about potential hazards. Know the size of your machinery. And always remember to check your surroundings—including the areas above your equipment.”
Overland offers these additional tips to help keep everyone safe and productive this harvest season.
If you’re in a vehicle or equipment that’s contacted an electrical source, remain there until help arrives. But if you’re in danger of fire or explosion, jump with both feet together and shuffle away. Don’t allow your body to contact the vehicle or equipment and the ground at the same time.
If you encounter an electrical accident, make sure the electrical source no longer poses a threat before assisting a victim. If in doubt, call 911 and wait until help arrives. And remember, even victims who don’t appear to be injured should seek medical advice because injury from an electrical shock may not be apparent immediately.
Overland adds that an electrical outage caused by mishandled farm machinery can impact several customers and poses a threat not only to you but also to others who rely on electricity for critical systems. “We want everyone to safely return home each night,” said Overland.
Photo caption: A farmer outside Fergus Falls, Minnesota, works to finish combining before stormy weather arrives. Photo courtesy of Brause Farms.