Remember to look up and look out for powerlines this harvest season

Remember to look up and look out for powerlines this harvest season
Courtesy/Nebraska powerline image — nepower.org
September 27th, 2022 | NPPD

Harvest is getting underway for many farmers across the state, and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) wants to remind equipment operators to look up and look out for powerlines as they head back out to the field.

NPPD encourages equipment operators to keep their machines 20 feet away from powerlines to avoid the possibility of any electricity arcing from the line to the equipment.

“It’s easy for an equipment operator to accidentally get a piece of equipment too close to a powerline or even make contact if they are not aware of their surroundings,” says NPPD Vice President of Delivery Art Wiese. “If large equipment gets too close to a powerline, electricity can arc from the line to the equipment, potentially causing major damage and severe or fatal injury to the operator.”

If a power line falls onto a vehicle or piece of equipment, anyone inside the vehicle should remain there until help can arrive and deenergize the power line. When a powerline is touching a vehicle or lying on the ground, it can electrify both the vehicle and the ground in the surrounding area. If a fire forces you to exit the vehicle, then do so by jumping away from the vehicle, landing on two feet, and shuffling as far away from the area as possible.

More information on harvest safety can be found on NPPD’s website at https://www.nppd.com/outages-safety/electrical-safety 

  • Each day review all farm activities and work practices that will take place around power lines and remind all workers to take precautions
  • Know the location of power lines and when setting up the farm equipment, be at least 20 feet away from them. Contact your local public power provider if you feel this distance cannot be achieved.
  • Use caution when raising augers or the bed of a grain truck or wagon. It can be difficult to estimate distance, and sometimes a power line is closer than it looks. For large equipment, use a spotter to make certain the equipment stays a safe distance from the line.
  • Always adjust portable augers or elevators to their lowest possible level – under 14 feet – before transporting them. Variables like wind, uneven ground or shifting weight can cause unexpected results.
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