Powerline safety is of the utmost importance this time of the year according to one provider

As farmers are getting back in the field for spring planting, power operators are requesting operators to look up and out for powerlines.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:41 PM CDT|Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 6:27 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - As farmers are getting back in the field for spring planting, power operators are requesting operators to look up and out for powerlines.

Powerlines located along fields can pose a potential safety hazard for equipment operators if they are not aware of their surroundings. Grant Otten, Media Relations Specialist with Nebraska Public Power District stresses that safety is of the utmost importance.

“You know the main concern when we talk about powerline safety is obviously the safety of farmers. We do not want people getting hurt while they are working or operating around powerlines. The same comes when we have storms, if there is a downed powerline we try to make people aware of staying away,” Otten said.

NPPD encourages farmers to review the following safety precautions before entering the fields to begin harvest operations. Find more information on farm safety at NPPD.com.

  • Each day, review all farm activities and work practices that will take place around powerlines and remind all workers to take precautions.
  • Know the location of powerlines 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 powerline is closer than it looks. For large equipment, use a spotter to ensure 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.

“Farmers are hard at work starting another planting season and we want to encourage them to keep safety around powerlines top of mind. Just like with our own team, it’s important that everybody can do their job and come home safely at the end of the day,” NPPD Transmission and Distribution Construction and Maintenance Manager Scott Walz said.

If a vehicle or piece of equipment is in contact with a powerline, call 911 or your local power provider and remain inside the vehicle until help can arrive and de-energize the powerline. When a powerline is touching a vehicle, 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.