To keep those who work or do business on your farm safe not only during harvest, but year-round, follow these electrical safety tips:
* Educate everyone that potential electrical hazards include both direct and indirect contact with an overhead power line or pole. Indirect contact (coming too close to a power line or pole), could cause electricity to arc/jump.
* Both direct and indirect contact can change electricity's path to ground. Once that path changes, the stray voltage can energize anything in its path, such as a truck, a tractor, an extension, the ground, or a person.
* Start every workday with a safety meeting. Discuss all operations for the day and go over power line/pole locations. Emphasize safety above speed to everyone on the farm, especially during busy seasons like harvest.
* Never assume that because someone grew up on the farm that they understand the potential of stray voltage or other electrical hazards. In fact, do not assume this for anyone.
* Encourage drivers and operators to position grain augers in their lowest position or to lower truck bed boxes before moving. Be especially cautious of overhead lines when using augers in the field to load trucks on the road.
* Review potential hazards with grain/dump truck drivers and spot them with possible. Encourage drivers to load and unload all materials away from overhead power lines when possible. Even better, create a dedicated drop zone away from all overhead power lines. Finally, remember the 10-foot clearance rule and "look up and look out".