National Agricultural Day is March 22, and Pee Dee Electric not only wants our agricultural community to know how thankful we are, but to also know we care about their safety.
Long hours and fatigue have always been a constant battle for farmers during planting season. If you farm, remember to take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest and allowing yourself breaks to clear your head. Be aware of electrical hazards around the farm and think twice before acting around electricity. Pee Dee 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 the ground” and you could get electrocuted if you step out. Instead, 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, which may not meet height codes due to age or pole damage. 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 the utility.
- 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 deal with power lines safely.
- According to American Family Insurance, “know your PTO.” To stay safe when working with a power take-off (PTO), always disengage the PTO, turn off the engine and remove keys before getting off the tractor. Also, never step across a rotating power shaft.
Keeping it safe at home
Just as it is important for our employees to work safely around electricity, it is equally important for cooperative members to live and play safely around electricity. Here are a few important safety tips when it comes to electricity.