Today’s farm equipment is bigger than ever, and that can lead to big problems when you’re transporting or operating it around power lines.
Follow these 10 tips to keep you, your family, and your workers safe:
- Check the height and width of your equipment. If you have new equipment or land, update your GPS with any changes.
- Contact Manitoba Hydro for a Farm Equipment Clearance Permit. If your equipment or load is over 4.8 metres in height, you must obtain a permit to ensure your route is safe. Restrictions on height, length and width have been established to protect everyone who uses the roadways. The permit is free and valid until December 31 of the same year.
- Plan your route carefully. Before seeding, drive your route to identify any overhead power lines and poles in your yard, along the road, and at field access points. If you don’t know whether it’s safe to pass underneath a power line, call Manitoba Hydro at 1-888-624-9376.
- Hold a safety meeting. To prevent an accident or serious injury, ensure everyone working on your farm knows the risks of operating equipment near power lines and utility poles.
- Stay 3 metres away from power lines. Always proceed cautiously and check constantly when transporting or operating equipment like cultivators, air seeders and grain augers, or when lifting truck boxes, tractor loaders or back hoes near power lines. Use a spotter on the ground to help you stay clear of overhead lines, and never attempt to lift a power line out of the way.
- Stack and store wisely. Whether it’s a grain bin or bale storage, stack and store it at least 9 metres away from power lines.
- Position irrigation pipe stacks at least nine metres from overhead power lines. Move pipes horizontally to avoid ‘flashover’ from overhead power lines.
- Click before you dig. Before disturbing the ground deeper than 15 centimetres, request a line locate at ClickBeforeYouDigMB.com. Utilities are closer to the surface of the ground than you might think.
- Assume downed power lines are energized. Stay at least 10 metres away and warn others of the danger. If your equipment knocks down a power line, stay in the vehicle and call 911 or Manitoba Hydro at 1-888-624-9376.
- If you contact a power line:
- Break the contact if you can. Drive at least 10 metres away.
- Stay on the equipment or in the cab and keep others 10 metres back.
- Call 911 for help.
If a fire or other immediate danger forces you to exit, JUMP without touching the vehicle and land with both feet together. Don’t step! SHUFFLE keeping your feet touching, or HOP, keeping your feet together for at least 10 metres (a bus length) away. Don’t touch the equipment and ground at the same time.