Farmers: Make safety a priority during spring planting season.

Planting season is here for many of the state’s roughly 94,000 farmers. While you prepare to plant the crops that help feed the world, Boone REMC reminds you to keep safety in mind — especially when working around electricity.

 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 62 farm workers are electrocuted each year in the U.S.

 

“Farm worker deaths and injuries can be prevented by practicing some simple electrical safety measures around farm,” said Krista Shields, Communications and Marketing for Boone REMC.

 

Here are some helpful safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure farm equipment like planter arms and sprayers safely clear overhead power lines. This tall equipment can easily become entangled in power lines and pose an electrocution risk. Keep a minimum of a 10-foot distance from power lines in all directions. Consider asking your electric cooperative to move overhead lines around buildings or frequently used pathways. It’s also a good idea to re-check any field access points for proper clearance before entering in case something has changed since the last time you were in a field.
  • Keep a safe distance from power poles and guy wires when working the land or planting crops. Contact 911 immediately if your equipment comes into contact with a guy wire or power pole. Do not try to fix it yourself.
  • If your farm equipment comes in contact with power lines, call 911 immediately. Keep others away and remain calm. DO NOT try to exit the equipment or touch someone who has had electrical contact. If you must exit the equipment for life-threatening reasons such as fire, jump out and away from the equipment and make sure to land with your feet together and touching. Then, shuffle at least three tractor lengths away with your feet touching. NEVER attempt to get back into or touch equipment that is in contact with a power line.
  • Make sure full-time and seasonal farm workers are educated to stay safe on the farm. Each worker should be aware of the dangers and use proper safety procedures.

 

 

Boone REMC stresses the importance of staying safe around electricity this planting season. It could save a life.

 

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Virginia Cooperative Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture