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Farmers Reminded About Power Line Safety This Spring

May 7, 2021, 16:03 PM

Last year, FortisAlberta farmers recorded 14 power line contacts with air seeders and sprayers and so far in 2021, there have been four contacts involving air seeders.

Seeding has just begun so FortisAlberta urges farmers to always ask themselves, ‘Where’s the Line?’  ‘Stay 7 Meters Safe’ and call us at 310-WIRE (9473) if you need to get closer. If you contact a line, know how to respond safely. Our goal is that you return home safely each day.

The size of farm equipment is getting bigger each year and it has doubled in size since the 1950s. While air seeders and sprayers top the list of equipment that contact our lines on farms, track hoes, wing-type drills and harrows, augers, and tractors are also of concern.

So before you wing up, measure up. Be sure to know the height of your farm equipment and watch for guy wires that are attached to our poles. Have a power line safety plan for your farm and stay safe with these tips:

  • Check the height of your equipment. If you are buying new, confirm the height, update your GPS with any changes and consider your route to ensure you can cross safely under power lines. Exercise caution if equipment is higher than 4.15 metres.
  • Plan when moving tall equipment. Know both the height and width of your equipment. Always enlist the help of a spotter. Map your route and locate any overhead power lines. If you don’t know whether it’s safe to cross under or work near a power line, call FortisAlberta for help.
  • Stay seven metres away from power lines. Keep this in mind when parked and operating grain augers or air seeders, or when lifting truck boxes or back hoes.
  • Stack and store wisely. Whether it’s a grain bin or bale storage, stack and store it seven metres away from power lines.
  • Assume downed power lines are energized. Stay at least 10 metres away and warn others of the dangers of power lines. Call 911 and your utility’s emergency phone number. Contact with a power line can seriously injure or kill you.
  • If you bring a line down on your equipment or tractor – stay calm and stay inside unless there is a risk of fire. If you must exit the cab, do so by jumping clear with your FEET TOGETHER. Do not touch anything. Shuffle away 10 metres with your feet together.

Download your Power Line Farm Safety Plan or call 310-WIRE (9473) for more safety information.

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