Reap what you sow:
Stay safe during planting season
Long hours and fatigue are a constant battle for farmers during planting season. If you farm, remember to take care of yourself by getting as much rest as possible and allowing yourself breaks to clear your head.
Be especially aware of electrical hazards around the farm. Be cautious and think twice before acting around electricity. Cass County Electric offers farmers the following reminders:
• If your machinery or vehicle comes in contact with a power line, do not get out. Once contact has been made with a live line (even when your tractor or truck makes contact), you are now a “pathway to ground” and you could get electrocuted if you step out. If a fire starts, remove loose clothing items, keep hands at your sides and jump clear away from the vehicle with your feet together. Keep both feet close together and shuffle away from the vehicle without picking up your feet. If there is no necessary reason to leave the vehicle, stay where you are and call 9-1-1 to dispatch the appropriate utility to de-energize the power.
• If you come across an accident or incident near a downed power line, alert individuals (from a distance) to stay in the tractor or vehicle as long as there is no imminent danger. Do not approach the scene.
• When using machinery with long extensions or tall antennas and when using ladders, look up to avoid contact with overhead power lines.
• Even if there is no contact, an electrical current can jump or arc, so keep equipment at least 10 feet from surrounding power lines at all times.
• Remember, non-metallic materials (such as tree limbs, ropes and hay) can conduct electricity, depending on dampness and dust/dirt accumulation.
• Visually inspect overhead lines. If a wire is hanging low or is on the ground, consider it energized and stay at least 50 feet away; call 9-1-1 to have the operator dispatch Cass County Electric.
• Every day, map out where equipment will be moved to ensure it will clear power lines.
• When working in the vicinity of power lines, always use a spotter who has a broad vantage point.
• Train anyone working with or for you (including seasonal employees) to be aware of power line locations and teach them proper clearance distance. Also design and implement a safety training program that includes a review of electrical hazards and how to safely deal with power lines.
For more information on electrical safety visit our safety blog.