DANGER! – Overhead Power Lines

Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

America’s Electrical Cooperatives reminds everyone to keep the following electrical safety guidelines in mind when working around overhead electric lines during harvest season:

  • Use a spotter when operating large machinery near power lines.
  • Keep equipment at least 10 feet from power lines—at all times, in all directions.
  • Use care when moving any equipment such as extending augers or raising the bed of grain trucks around power lines or poles.
  • Inspect the height of farm equipment to determine clearance.
  • Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.
  • If your equipment does make contact with a power line, immediately call 911 and warn others to stay away.
  • If you can drive away from the power source safely, travel at least 40 feet away before exiting the equipment.
  • If you are unable to drive the machinery, do not exit the cab. Instead, wait for local electrical crews to cut the power so you can exit safely. 
  • The only reason to exit equipment that is in contact with overhead lines is if the equipment is on fire. Do not touch the ground and the equipment at the same time. Jump as far away from the equipment as you can with your feet together. Then, with feet together, hop to safety as you leave the area.  

For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Kent McGuire, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.