SKRECC says preparation and awareness are keys to a safe harvest | Lifestyles
The harvest season is one of the busiest times of the year for farmers and one of the most dangerous. Before heading to the fields, the South Kentucky RECC urges farm workers to be aware of overhead power lines and keep equipment and extensions away.
Start each morning by planning your work day. Know what work will be taking place near power lines and have a plan to ensure the safety of affected workers.
Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet from power lines in all directions at all times.
Be careful when lifting augers or the bed of a grain truck. It can be difficult to estimate the distance and sometimes a power line is closer than it looks. Use a spotter to make sure you stay away from power lines.
Always lower augers or portable elevators to their lowest possible level, less than 14 feet, before moving or transporting them. Wind, uneven ground, moving weight, or other conditions can cause you to lose control of the equipment and come into contact with power lines.
Be aware of the increased heights when loading and transporting large modern tractors with taller antennas.
Never attempt to lift or move a power line to clear a path. If the power lines near your property have sagged over time, call the South Kentucky RECC to repair them.
Do not use metal posts to break bridged grain in and around bins.
As with any outdoor job, be careful not to lift any equipment such as ladders, poles, or rods in power lines. Remember that non-metallic materials such as wood, tree branches, tires, ropes, and hay will conduct electricity depending on moisture and contamination from dust and dirt.
Use qualified electricians for work on drying equipment and other agricultural electrical systems.
If you are on equipment that comes in contact with a power line, do not leave the equipment. When you step off the equipment, you become the path of electricity to the earth and receive a potentially fatal shock. Wait until SKRECC has turned off the line and confirmed that it is safe to exit the vehicle. If the vehicle is on fire and you need to exit, jump away from the vehicle with both feet together. Jump as far from the vehicle as possible with your feet together. Keeping your feet together prevents you from getting a shock.
Electrical work around the farm can also be hazardous. Often times, the need for electrical repair arises at a time when a farmer has been working long hours and is tired. At such times, it is best to take a step back and wait until you have rested or, better yet, contact a qualified electrician if necessary. Doing electrical work is also a good time to check your wires, as mice and other animals tend to chew on them, leaving the electrical hazard of bare wires that can cause shorts and potentially fatal shocks.
South Kentucky RECC urges everyone to be safe this harvest season!