As the annual fall harvest begins, Alliant Energy urges farmers to know their surroundings and equipment sizes. This knowledge will help them avoid overhead power lines and keep them safe while in the fields.
Contact incidents with Alliant Energy’s electric power lines increase significantly during harvest season. There are three main reasons for this: More equipment is in the field; that equipment tends to be larger, like combines, wagons and tractors; and farmers work more hours in the dark when it’s difficult to see poles and wires.
Alliant Energy offers farmers the following safety tips to avoid injuries, property damage and contact with power lines:
Know the height of your equipment and do not drive under power lines if any part of that equipment is too tall to fit below them. Power lines sit 18 feet above the ground.
Be aware of your turning radius. Ensure your tractor and anything you’re pulling doesn’t swing into poles, pole guy wires or overhead lines when you turn, especially at the end of a row in the field.
Stay alert when it gets dark. Know where the power lines are, especially after the sun goes down.
Never assume a power line is safe to touch. If work requires you to be near a line, please call 1-800-ALLIANT and explain the situation. Alliant Energy will discuss it with you or come to your site and make the line safe.
Contact with a power line could interrupt electric service in the area. This could slow down any farming activities, such as grain drying, that require electricity and halt work until power can be restored.
If contact is made with a power line, do not touch the victim or item. Immediately call 911 and inform the dispatcher of the electrical accident. Always seek medical help for an electrical contact accident, as some injuries might not be visible or appear until several hours later.
Call 1-800-ALLIANT to report a downed power line. In addition, call 811 before doing any project that requires digging. Visit alliantenergy.com/farmsafety for more information.