FortisAlberta - Know The Height Of Your Farm Equipment

Farmers are asked to stay seven metres away from power lines and to keep this in mind when parked and operating grain augers or air seeders, or when lifting truck boxes or back hoes.

FortisAlberta has updated its website with a safety plan farmers can download to help them plan to work more safely and avoid power lines or power poles.

Reminders include the importance of knowing the height and width of farm equipment and always enlisting the help of a spotter.

Mona Bartsoff, Corporate Communications Advisor, says they had an issue happen last week which resulted in a fairly large power outage.

Last year, FortisAlberta recorded 47 power line contacts with tractors and other agricultural implements. This spring, Bartsoff says there have already been 20 in their service area.

She adds, over the years, the height of power lines has remained the same but farm equipment is bigger and this spring there is more activity.

If you come in contact with a power line or damage a power pole, assume the lines and the ground around you are energized. Warn others to stay at least 10 metres away and call 911 as well as your electric utility. If you need to get out of the cab or off the equipment in case of fire, make sure you jump free of the vehicle with both feet together. Don't contact the machinery and hop away for at least 10 metres.

Whether it is a grain bin or bale storage, FortisAlberta asks farmers to stack and store it seven metres away from power lines.

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