Brush Up On Your Harvest Season Safety Tips

As the annual fall harvest season gets underway, Alliant Energy reminds farmers of the importance of staying safe when operating farm equipment near power lines.  

According to Alliant Energy, contact incidents with electric power lines significantly increase this time of year. In addition to the risk of an injury or fatality, contact with power lines can interrupt electric service. That can halt work and slow electricity-dependent farm activities such as grain drying.

To help keep farmers safe and the power on for all, follow these safety steps: 

  • Maintain a safe distance. Always stay at least 10 feet from all power lines and power poles. Conduct a thorough visual check of your surroundings.  
  • Know your equipment’s height. Do not drive under power lines if any part of your equipment is too tall to clear them. Consider the additional height of antennas and GPS receivers. If you purchased new equipment, don’t assume it has the same clearance as your old equipment.  
  • Do not attempt to raise power lines. Never try to elevate power lines to allow passage of tall equipment.    
  • Be aware of your turning radius. Make sure your tractor and anything you tow does not swing into poles or overhead lines when you turn. If you hit a power pole, it could break, dropping a live line. Assume it’s energized and call 1-800-ALLIANT immediately. 
  • Remain vigilant during grain handling and storage. Be cautious when you set up and move equipment, particularly when you use booms, augers and grain bins. Keep grain augurs in their lowest position and lower truck bed boxes before moving.   
  • Stay alert, especially when it gets dark. Know where poles and overhead lines are at all times.
  • Know what to do if an overhead line contacts equipment. Stay on the equipment. Do not step to the ground. Call 911 and wait until a qualified person tells you it is safe to exit the vehicle. If you must leave the equipment because of a fire or other danger, jump away from the vehicle to avoid touching the equipment and the ground at the same time. To the best of your ability, land with both feet together and then quickly shuffle away – keeping your feet together and on the ground. 

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