Agriculture, electricity work together, yet danger is there
Rocky Mountain Power is committed to preventing serious injuries and fatalities that can result from accidental contact with electrical facilities. The company wants farmers and ranchers to be aware of these safety guidelines because the nature of their work brings them near electric utility equipment almost every day.
Electricity enables hundreds of jobs to be done quickly and easily in the business of farming and ranching. It lights and powers homes and shops, runs dairy equipment, pumps irrigation water; and helps move, condition and store crops. However, electricity also can be dangerous if proper safety precautions aren't taken. With farm activity increasing during the summer months, Rocky Mountain Power encourages safe and cautious behavior while working with equipment in farms, ranches, orchards or fields.
"It's critical to always maintain awareness of power lines when operating equipment and working in fields where power lines share space with crops, livestock, orchards, workers and equipment," said Mike Felice, Rocky Mountain Power safety director. "Careless actions around power lines and other electrical equipment can have disastrous consequences."
Rocky Mountain Power urges the following precautions to keep farmers, ranchers and others working around electricity safe.
*Look up. Always look up for overhead power lines before beginning any outdoor activity.
*Follow the 10-foot rule. Most overhead power lines are not insulated. Keep everything - yourself, the tools and materials you are handling and the equipment you are operating - at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines. Any contact with wires by branches, pipe or equipment can be fatal.
*Call before you dig. Call 811 to have your local underground utility locator service mark all utility lines for free before you dig.
*Never stack or store irrigation pipe, hay and hay bales, or other materials directly underneath or adjacent to power lines. Never stand an irrigation pipe on end near a power line.
*Always lower grain augers and other crop handling and tilling equipment before moving them anywhere near power lines. Have someone spot for you.
*Irrigate with care. Do not spray water on power lines, equipment or structures.
*Use caution when moving equipment near power poles. Beware of hooking guy wires (non-energized wires used to tether end-poles to the ground) when operating vehicles or moving tools and equipment.
Follow these guidelines if a power line falls onto the vehicle, combine or heavy equipment you are operating:
*If you can do so safely, drive the vehicle or equipment away from the line.
*Stay seated until professional rescue workers say it's safe to get off.
*Warn others to stay away. Anyone who touches the vehicle or equipment, or even the ground nearby, may be injured or killed.
*Have someone immediately call both 911 and Rocky Mountain Power at 1-888-221-7070.
*If fire or other immediate danger forces you to leave the vehicle or equipment, jump clear, keeping both feet together. Do not touch the ground and the vehicle/equipment at the same time. Shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground, or hop away keeping both feet together.
*Call 911 if someone makes contact with electricity and needs medical attention. Never touch a person or object in contact with electricity, since you could also become part of the electrical current's path to the ground and be seriously injured or killed.
*If a line has fallen on the ground or on some other object or piece of equipment, always assume it's energized. Stay clear, keep others away and call 911 and Rocky Mountain Power at 1-888-221-7070.
For all other information, including safety assistance around power lines, call toll free at 888-221-7070.