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Farming equipment has become more massive and technologically advanced over time. While these welcome improvements help farmers cover more ground in less time, taller equipment and longer extensions can bring added challenges around power lines.

As farmers start entering the fields for planting, Dakota Electric Association urges everyone in agriculture to be alert to the dangers of working near overhead power lines, poles and other electrical equipment. Here are a few precautions to be aware of:

  • Make sure everyone knows to maintain a minimum 10-foot clearance from power lines.
  • If your equipment comes in contact with a power line, stay in the cab, unless it is not safe to do so. If you must leave, keep your feet together and hop away from the area. 
  • Meet with your staff to discuss possible hazards and map out routes where equipment will be moved to ensure it will clear power lines. 
  • When working around power lines, use a spotter who has a broad vantage point. 
  • Lower extensions to the lowest setting when moving loads.
  • Do not go near someone in equipment that has come in contact with power lines. Call 9-1-1. 

Also be aware, springtime is storm season, and damaging storms can cause power outages and knock down power lines. Avoid downed power lines, always assume they are live, don’t go near them and call 9-1-1. 

Everyone thinks an electrical accident could never happen to them, but take a minute to learn from Cody Conrady whose life was changed in an instant. Visit Dakota Electric’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/dakotaelectric) to watch safety videos and see Conrady’s story. 

A customer-owned, non-profit utility since 1937, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 110,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, your Touchstone Energy Cooperative, serves its member-owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.

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