Electrical accidents can crop up unexpectedly
Look up. Look down. Look all around. When moving farm machinery, always walk around the entire vehicle and attachments, looking for hazards before making the next move. Look for power-line wires, guy wires, transformers, and meter sockets—they’re extremely hazardous and you need to account for them. It is your responsibility to call us at 800-257-4044 if you have struck any of our facilities. If energized lines are down and you’re not sure which utility to call, simply call 911.
If you plan any excavation work, you must call before you dig.
Check your clearance
- Maintain a minimum of 10’ from any part of the utility structure and/or wires. Higher voltage lines require more distance.
- Just because you made it under the wires a few months ago doesn’t mean you’ll make it today. Wires can sag many feet depending on the temperature.
- Use a spotter that can get a better view to ensure you will be out of the danger zone and in the safe zone.
Use caution if contact occurs
- Stay on your equipment to remain safe. Warn others to stay away from the area.
- If you can drive out of harm’s way without doing more damage, go ahead.
- If you must get off your equipment due to a fire or other emergency, JUMP clear of the equipment with both feet together. Do not touch anything as you may become the path to ground. Hop with both feet together to get away.
- CALL your utility immediately and keep others far away from the danger until professionals arrive. If you don’t know which utility to call, simply call 911.
Think about irrigation equipment placement
- Never stand pipes on end around power lines.
- Never spray water at utility wires as this can provide a path for electricity.
- Never stack any farm-related items near or under electrical facilities.
Protect surrounding facilities before ditch burning
If you plan to burn your ditch—or any other area with electrical equipment—protect surrounding electrical facilities. Wood poles and plastic risers on poles can easily catch fire and create unsafe conditions. If any of these facilities are damaged due to fire it’s important to call the utility right away.
Many pole fires will continue to burn in the core of the pole and later re-ignite, which can lead to tipped poles, electrical outages, and other safety hazards. If the hazards go unreported they also can lead to utility-worker injury.