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SaskPower urges farmers to exercise caution during harvest

As harvest gets underway, SaskPower is reminding farmers to be careful around power lines.
As harvest gets underway, SaskPower is reminding farmers to be careful around power lines. File / Global News

SaskPower is reminding farmers to exercise caution around power lines with harvest underway.

Officials said there have been 240 reports of farm equipment coming into contact with electrical equipment since April 1.

READ MORE: Harvest operations get underway in Saskatchewan

In 2018, there were 312 reports of power line contact during the farming season, resulting in three deaths.

“Farm machinery coming into contact with power lines is, unfortunately, a common occurrence, despite the fact that it is completely preventable,” said Kevin Schwing, SaskPower’s director of health and safety.

“These incidents can lead to equipment damage, lengthy unplanned power outages, injuries and even death.”

READ MORE: Feds announce multi-million dollar boost for 22 Saskatchewan businesses

SaskPower said there are a number of steps farmers should take to stay safe during harvest.

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These include having a plan in place before moving equipment, making sure machinery is at its lowest possible level before moving and using a spotter.

Other tips include getting proper rest, drinking plenty of water and taking breaks throughout the day.

SaskPower said that if farm equipment comes into contact with a power line, people should stay in their cab and contact 306-310-2220 or 911.

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In the event it is necessary to exit the cab due to a fire, SaskPower said people should take the following steps:

  • Make sure no wires are in the way
  • Cross arms and put feet together
  • Jump as far from the equipment as possible and hop at least 10 metres (33 feet) away

At no time should the machinery be touched.