SaskPower urges caution when moving equipment

According to SaskPower, seeding is one of the most dangerous times of the year for accidents involving electrical lines. | File photo

Saskatchewan’s publicly owned electrical company is reminding farmers and farm workers to look up and live when moving augers and other grain handling and farm equipment.

SaskPower said working around overhead power lines without proper care and attention can result in serious injury or even death.

Each year in Saskatchewan, more than 300 incidents occur involving farm equipment that comes into contact with overhead power lines.

“Farm machinery is bigger than ever,” said Kevin Schwing, director of safety at SaskPower.

“Be sure to take your time, know your equipment, and identify the risks before you start your work. Be aware of overhead power lines while crossing fields and farmyards.”

SaskPower offers the following tips for anyone moving or operating large machinery near power lines:

  • Identify risks and plan a route if moving equipment.
  • Use a spotter for a second set of eyes at ground level.
  • Know how big the machinery and the clearances required. Retract all adjustable equipment before it is moved.
  • Take rest breaks. Avoid working fatigued.

In 2021, SaskPower plans to increase funding to its Farmyard Line Relocation Program and Rural Rebuild Program.

The two programs provide assistance for moving power lines from farm fields and farmyards, ultimately reducing the risk of contact with augers and other farm machinery.

For more information on electrical safety, and for steps to take should a line contact occur, visit saskpower.com/lookupandlive.

According to SaskPower, nearly half of all farm safety incidents that occur in Saskatchewan each year happen between April and June.

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