According to Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting System (CAIR), 1,975 people were killed in agricultural injury events between 1990 and 2008, with 25 fatalities involving electric current. The number of fatal incidents occuring in agriculture makes it the fourth most dangerous industry in Canada, with substantial economic costs and unmeasurable emotional costs.
Maintaining a safe distance from power lines is easy on paper, but when you’re in the tractor, seeing that nearly-invisible wire can be terribly difficult on its own, let alone judging the distance between it and the implement of concern. Compound the already difficult task with the stress and exhaustion of a busy season, and operator safety is too-often at risk.
Read more: Farm Safety Week — Lets’ Talk About it!
Preventing power line contact is obviously the best strategy for on-farm electrical safety, but do you know what to do if — for whatever reason — your implement hits a line?
First, says SaskPower, stay put. Unless you’re in immediate danger, remain in the vehicle, call SaskPower (or your provincial/local power authority) and wait for further instruction. If you’re in immediate danger and must exit your vehicle, there are some very important safety precautions you must adhere to.
The following was filmed at one of SaskPower’s demonstrations at Canadian Western Agribition and provides important visuals for leaving a power-line scene, explaining why they’re essential and additionally busting the myth that tires always provide a safe electrical barrier.
This week, and every week, make farm safety a priority.