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VOL. 65 NUMBER 8


News orthwestern Electric June 2014 A


Grain bins: harvesting safely grain bin safety


By Abby Berry


s rewarding as it may be, farming is an ex- tremely difficult job—and it ranks among the top 10 most dangerous professions in the


United States. At Northwestern Electric, safety is top priority for all—our employees and our members. Our farmers work hard to get the job done, and sometimes it’s easy to forget all the necessary steps to take when practicing safe operations. Grain bins are siloed spaces built for storing grain and fermented feed known as silage. These bins play an integral role in the efficiency and profitability of farm and ranch operations, and safety regulations should always be considered when working around these structures. Whether you’re purchasing new grain bins or re- modeling areas that contain existing ones, proximity to overhead power lines must be a considered factor. Safe clearance. The National Electrical Safety Code requires an 18-foot minimum vertical clear- ance from the highest point of the filling port of the grain bin to nearby high-voltage wires and a 55-foot minimum distance from the power line to the grain bin wall. See the chart at right for further guidelines. Changes to landscaping and drainage work can af- fect clearance heights of power lines, so remember to check these measurements regularly. Filling grain bins. High-voltage power lines are not insulated, so it’s important to remember to main- tain an adequate high-wire clearance when using a portable auger, conveyor or elevator to fill your bin. Moving equipment near grain bins. When mov- ing equipment, such as a hopper or a scaffold, be aware of nearby power lines. Remember to maintain a 10-foot clearance to ensure safety. (5419003) Accidents can happen in a split-second, which is why Northwestern Electric reminds you to always use caution when working near power lines. If you


MINIMUM 80' 55' MINIMUM 18.5'


15' HIGH BIN


25' HIGH BIN


MINIMUM 143'


50' HIGH BIN


Height of grain storage structure


15 ft. 20 ft.


25 ft. 30 ft. 35 ft. 40 ft. 50 ft. 60 ft. 70 ft. 80 ft.


55 ft. 68 ft.


80 ft. 93 ft. 104 ft. 118 ft. 143 ft. 168 ft. 193 ft. 218 ft.


*Based on a typical power line having a vertical clearance of 18.5 feet above the ground and a supply line phase to ground voltage of more than 0V to 22KV; National Electrical Safety Code Rule 232.


are considering a plan for a new grain bin or recon- struction of an existing bin’s site, please contact us at 580.256.7425 and let us assist you in maintaining a safe environment for you and your family.


Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.


Inside


OAEC awards................2 Peak Shaver..................3 Recipe............................3 Youth Winners ..............4


danger: high voltage! follow farm safety rules around power lines


D=Minimum distance from line to bin wall*


18.5' D


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