Columbus, Neb. – With the arrival of harvest season, Nebraska Public Power District is reminding farm operators to “look up and look out” for power lines.
Hitting power lines becomes a significant hazard during the harvest season, as farm operators begin moving tall equipment back out to the fields. “Equipment can get caught in power lines if operators are not aware of their surroundings,” noted Transmission and Distribution Manager Art Wiese, “even coming too close to a power line can cause electricity to arc to your equipment.”
Avoiding contact with a power line is the best way to stay safe, but NPPD wants everyone to know what to do if contact does happen. Remaining inside the equipment, until help can arrive, is critical to everyone’s safety. Contact with power lines can result in serious or fatal accidents.
“Calling for help is important in avoiding injuries,” says Wiese, “If a line is not de-energized by a public power utility crew, stepping out of the vehicle could cause your body to become the path and electrocution could occur. Even if the power line is resting on the ground nearby, that surrounding area could potentially be energized.”
If you are forced to exit the vehicle, the appropriate action is to jump – not step – with both feet landing on the ground at the same time. Do not touch the vehicle and ground at the same time and begin shuffling your feet on the ground to safety. Never simply step out of the vehicle – the person must jump clear of the equipment.
NPPD recommends that farmers review the following safety precautions before entering the fields to begin harvest operations including: