With spring finally here, SaskPower is reminding farmers and those in the construction industry to be aware of overhead and underground power lines.
“Producers and construction workers are likely feeling some pressure out there in the late spring,” said Kevin Schwing, SaskPower’s director of health and safety. “Whether it’s a shop you’re arriving at for the first time or a field you’ve seeded for decades, take a moment to identify nearby power lines. When working around electricity, be aware, and be safe.”
There have been more than 6,000 power line contacts in Saskatchewan over the past 10 years. Nine people have lost their lives in that time, and many others have been left with injuries.
SaskPower’s annual public safety campaign will continue through October to correspond with the heavy construction and farming season.
This year, SaskPower will be wrapping power poles in bright orange along a busy section of Highway 11 near Chamberlain to remind people to “Look Up and Live.” You can also expect to see SaskPower Safety Ambassadors at community events and local businesses across the province.
All power line contacts are preventable. Here are three steps SaskPower is providing in order to protect yourself:
- Take multiple breaks throughout the day and ensure you get plenty of rest before heading to work. Drinking plenty of water can also help prevent fatigue.
- Be aware of the power lines around you and plan your route ahead of time. Lower equipment where needed and use a spotter to prevent contact.
- Call 1-866-828-4888 or visit http://www.sask1stcall.com before you dig. SaskPower will send someone out to locate any underground lines so you can avoid them while doing your work.
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If your equipment contacts a power line, stay in the cab and call SaskPower at 306-310-2220, or 911. If the vehicle has caught fire and it is not safe to do so, you need to get out.
After making sure there are no wires in your way, cross your arms and put your feet together. Jump as far away as you can and hop at least 10 metres away. Do not touch your vehicle.
For more information on electrical safety, including prevention and steps to take if you hit a power line, you can visit the SaskPower website.