Power line contacts up this harvest season: SaskPower

SaskPower is reminding farmers to take care around power lines during harvest after an increasing number of contacts through the growing season.

Since April 1, there have been 240 reported incidents of machinery contacting electrical lines.

That’s up from 230 at the same time last year.

Spokesperson Joel Cherry said despite continuous efforts to remind farmers about electrical safety the numbers are consistent year after year.

This year there were several outages as a result of machinery contact. The most significant was earlier this spring near Canora when farm machinery struck a pole, causing extensive damage and knocking out power for 8,000 urban and 4,500 rural customers for eight hours.

“Luckily there have been no deaths as a result of farm-related line contacts this year, and no farm-related injuries that have been reported,” Cherry said.

SaskPower recommends getting proper rest to prevent fatigue, planning work in advance, lowering equipment to the lowest possible level when moving, and using a spotter to keep an eye on power lines.

If farm equipment contacts a line, the operator should stay in the cab and call SaskPower at 306-310-2220 or 911.

If the equipment is on fire, make sure no wires are in the way, cross arms, keep feet together, and jump as far away as possible, hopping at least 10 metres or 33 feet. Do not touch the vehicle.

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