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Safety urged on Saskatchewan farms during harvest

Underestimating the height or width of equipment and fatigue are two of the leading causes of power line contacts on Saskatchewan farms.
Underestimating the height or width of equipment and fatigue are two of the leading causes of power line contacts on Saskatchewan farms. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Mark Spowart.

Harvest is underway in Saskatchewan, and with it comes danger from overhead power lines.

There have been 230 reports of machinery contacting electrical equipment since April 1.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan harvest ahead of 5-year average as field conditions worsen

Kevin Schwing, the director of health and safety for SaskPower, said everyone needs to take their time and be aware of power lines crossing fields.

“It’s absolutely essential that you take your time and identify those risks before going about your work,” Schwing said in a statement on Tuesday.

“In the case of an equipment move, that means planning ahead before you’re even in the field.

Underestimating the height or width of equipment and fatigue are two of the leading causes of power line contacts on farms.

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“Fatigue is especially important to keep in mind as the days get short, the temperature starts dropping, and producers are working to ensure this year’s crop makes it to the bin,” Schwing said.

READ MORE: Canada’s cattle producers tightening their belts as drought diminishes pastures

SaskPower said people working on the harvest need to take multiple breaks throughout the day, and to drink plenty of water as that can help prevent fatigue.

Producers should plans routes ahead of time and a spotter should be used to prevent contact with power lines.

If machinery comes into contact with a power line, stay in the cab and contact SaskPower at 306-310-2220 or 911.

In the event machinery catches fire, make sure there are no wires in the way, cross your arms and put your feet together.

Jump as far as possible and hop at least 10 metres away.

SaskPower said taking the proper steps can ensure everyone returns home safe every night.