Farmers Urged to Look Up During Harvest Season Remember Electrical Safety During National Farm Safety & Health Week

Every year, an average of 62 farm workers are electrocuted in the United States and many more are injured, according to Labor Department statistics. During National Farm Safety and Health Week, Safe Electricity urges farm operators, family members, and employees to beware of overhead power lines, to keep farm equipment safely away, and to know what to do if accidental contact is made with power lines.

Visit Safe Electricity and watch the video story of farmer Jim Flach, who was fatally injured as he climbed down from his equipment that was in contact with overhead power lines.

It’s vital to keep equipment safety away from them, with a minimum 10-foot safety radius around the electric line.

Farm operators, family members, and farm employees are urged to take these measures:

  • Use a spotter when moving tall loads near lines.
  • Inspect farm equipment for transport height and determine clearance with any power lines under which the equipment must pass.
  • Make sure everyone knows what to do if accidental contact is made with power lines.
  • It’s almost always best to stay in the cab, call for help and wait until the electric utility arrives to cut off the power. If the power line is energized and you step outside, your body becomes the path and electrocution is the result. Stay inside the vehicle unless there’s a fire or imminent risk of fire. In that case, the proper action is to jump – not step – with both feet hitting the ground at the same time. Jump clear, without touching the vehicle and ground at the same time, and continue to shuffle or hop to safety keeping both feet together as you leave the area.

National Farm Safety and Health Week is the perfect time for farm families and workers to discuss electrical dangers and to know how to avoid them.

Learn more at Safe Electricity.