Safety Alert

Several serious farm-related accidents have occurred

The following incidents could have caused life-altering injuries or even death. Each one could have been prevented.

  • While attempting to shake a rat from inside an irrigation pipe, two teenage boys upended the pipe into a 7,200-volt overhead power line, knocking both unconscious and causing one to suffer burn injuries.
  • While attempting to shake leaves from inside an irrigation pipe, a husband and wife lifted a pipe into a 7,200-volt overhead power line. The electricity grounded through the pipe and then their bodies and caused burn injuries.
  • Using a backhoe, a farmer attempted to relocate a utility pole and attached power transformer. The attempt failed and disconnected electrical power. The farmer then used a metal ladder to climb the utility the utility pole and attempted to open the electrical fuse. He was severely shocked and fell 20 feet to the ground.

You can avoid these situations

Most overhead power lines are not insulated. The most important thing you can do is know the location of all power lines on or near your farm or ranch, and point them out to anyone who helps with farm or ranch activities such as employees, temporary workers and family members, including children. Then take some of the following precautions to stay safe:

  • Never lift long or tall items such as irrigation pipes or move grain augers in the raised position near overhead power lines. Contact with high-voltage power lines can cause loss of limbs, severe internal and external burns, heart irregularities or even death.
  • Never store materials such as hay or irrigation pipes directly underneath or on the ground adjacent to overhead power lines. Why?
    • If a power line comes down in a storm or accident, any items stored underneath can become energized or catch fire.
    • Keeping long and tall items away from power lines reduces the risk of a farm or ranch worker or family member lifting these items into power lines.
    • Storing large or heavy items under power lines often requires use of forklifts or other lift equipment, which can also come into contact with overhead power lines.
    • Storing items underneath power lines can block access for utility employees when maintenance and emergency repairs are needed.
  • Educate your children, their young friends and other visitors about the dangers of overhead power lines, and encourage them to take caution when playing near farm or irrigation equipment and electrical power structures and lines.

  • Never attempt to move a utility pole yourself. It is extremely dangerous and illegal. If a pole must be moved, call us at 1-888-221-7070.