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Stay foc sed on safety d D


uring harvest season, many farmers reap the bene⇒ ts of advancement in


agricultural technology. With the help of GPS auto-steer devices, farmers are able to decrease driver error and maximize producƟ vity. Yet despite these advances, safety risks remain. To help farmers stay


out of harm’s way, Safe Electricity shares Ɵ ps for a safe harvest.


GPS with auto-guidance provides farmers with real-Ɵ me locaƟ on data about a ⇒ eld, which can be used for crop planning, map making, navigaƟ on assistance and machinery guidance. During harvest, this technology allows drivers to have their hands oī the steering wheel as the


combine maneuvers itself through the ⇒ eld. Thanks to this technology, farmers can more easily and eĸ ciently maintain accuracy even during low-light condiƟ ons, which enhances producƟ vity.


“One criƟ cal part of safety around electricity is awareness,” explains Kyla Kruse, communicaƟ ons director of the Safe Electricity program. “It’s important to remember that farm machinery is vulnerable to hiƫ ng power lines because of its large size, height and extensions. Being aware of the locaƟ on of overhead power lines and planning a safe equipment route can help reduce accidents.”


Stay focused on safety during h rvest g harvest


In equipment with auto-guidance systems, less focus is needed on steering, which may lead some drivers to think that they do not need to be as aware of navigaƟ on issues. However, even while using a GPS with auto-steering, farm workers need to keep safety in mind and stay focused on their surroundings.


Puƫ ng safety ⇒ rst requires alertness, focus and knowledge of potenƟ al hazards and safety steps. Varying pass-to-pass accuracy levels and potenƟ al issues, such as power poles not being correctly ploƩ ed in the system, reinforce the need for drivers to stay focused on the locaƟ on of the farm equipment while in the ⇒ eld and to be ready to take acƟ on if necessary.


Regardless the technology used on the farm, keep the following electrical safety guidelines in mind:


• Use a spoƩ er when operaƟ ng large machinery near power lines.


• Keep equipment at least 10 feet from power lines—at all Ɵ mes, in all direcƟ ons.


• Look up and use care when moving any equipment such as extending augers or raising the bed of grain trucks around power lines.


• Inspect the height of farm equipment to determine clearance.


• Always set extensions to the lowest seƫ ng when moving loads to prevent contact with overhead power lines. Grain augers should always be posiƟ oned horizontally before being moved.


• Never aƩ empt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.


• If a power line is sagging or low, contact Northeast Oklahoma Electric at 800- 256-6405.


If your equipment does make contact with a power line, do not leave the cab. Immediately call 911, warn others to stay away and wait for the uƟ lity crew to cut the power.


The only reason to exit equipment that has come into contact with overhead lines is if the equipment is on ⇒ re, which is rare. However, if this is the case, jump oī the equipment with your feet together and without touching the ground and machinery at the same Ɵ me. Then, sƟ ll keeping your feet together, hop to safety as you leave the area.


For more informaƟ on on electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.z


August 2016 - 5


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