ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS TO KEEP HOOSIER FARMERS SAFE DURING HARVEST SEASON
With many of Indiana’s 58,000 farmers beginning to harvest this season, Indiana Electric Cooperatives reminds them to practice safety – especially when working around electricity. Farming is one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States and 62 farmers are electrocuted every year. These deaths can be prevented by practicing simple safety measures.
To prevent electrocution, safely clear combines and other harvesting equipment of overhead power lines. Tall equipment can come into contact with power lines if there isn’t a minimum 10-foot distance between them. And, installing waterproof and dustproof electrical boxes and outlets at the farm is an easy way to avoid electrical dangers.
If farm equipment does come in contact with a power line while you’re inside, do not leave the machinery. Call 911 and tell anyone that comes to your aid to stay away from the machinery. If you must exit the machinery for life-threatening reasons, jump out and away from it, making sure to land with your feet together and touching. Then, shuffle away with your feet touching until you reach a safe distance.
The National Electrical Safety Code requires power lines to be at least 18 feet above the highest point on any grain bin with which portable augers or other portable filling equipment are used. If a standby generator is used on a single-phase system, connect it to the farm’s wiring system through a double pole, double-throw switch. This prevents backfeed and keeps linemen safe from the risk of electrocution.
It is also important to educate full-time and seasonal farm workers to stay safe on the farm. Each worker should be aware of the dangers and utilize proper safety procedures.