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Have a successful planting season rooted in safety A


s farmers make plans to return to their fi elds for spring plan ng,


Northeast Oklahoma Electric Coopera ve and the Safe Electricity program (www. SafeElectricity.org) urge them to be par cularly alert to the dangers of working near overhead power lines. Opera ng large equipment near these lines is one of the o en overlooked, yet poten ally deadly, hazards of working on a farm.


Start by making sure everyone knows to maintain a 10-foot clearance minimum from power lines. “Some mes a power line is closer than it looks,” says Molly Hall, execu ve director of the Energy Educa on Council’s Safe Electricity program. “Helpful safety steps include using a spo er and designa ng preplanned routes that avoid hazard areas.”


Be aware of increased height when loading and transpor ng tractors on trailer beds. Many tractors now have tall antennas extending from the cab that could make contact with power lines. Avoid raising the arms of planters or cul vators near power lines, and never a empt to raise or move a power line to clear a path.


Simply working too close to a power line is dangerous as electricity can arc or “jump” to conduc ng objects, such as a ladder, pole or truck. Remember, non-metallic materials such as lumber,  res, ropes and hay will conduct electricity depending on dampness, dust and dirt contamina on.


“If your equipment does come into contact with power lines, stay in the cab and call Northeast Oklahoma Electric Coopera ve for help,” explains Hall. “If the power line is energized and you step outside, your body becomes the path to the ground. Even if a line has landed on the ground, there is s ll poten al for the area to be energized. Warn others who may be nearby to stay away and wait un l help arrives.”


If exi ng the cab is absolutely necessary because of fi re, the proper ac on is


to jump—not step—with both feet together, hi ng the ground at the same  me. Do not allow any part of your body to touch the equipment and the ground at the same  me. Hop to safety, keeping both feet together as you leave the area.


For more  ps and informa on on how to stay safe this plan ng season, visit SafeElectricity.org. 


April 2015 - 5


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