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Besides being one of the most labor-intensive occupations, farming is also considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. agriculture near electrical equipment.

Each year, the North Western Electric Cooperative and the Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative witness collisions in which tractors and other farm equipment accidentally collide with utility poles and power lines, causing injuries and power outages. These dangerous accidents can be avoided by looking up and around you when operating large agricultural machinery.

Please keep the following safety tips in mind during harvest:

• Maintain 10 feet of clearance around all utility equipment in all directions.

• Use an observer and deployed flags to maintain safe distances from power lines and other electrical equipment when working in the field.

• If your equipment comes in contact with a live or broken power line, do not touch the lines. Suppose all the fallen lines are live and dangerous. Stay clear and immediately call 911. Stay inside the vehicle until the power line is de-energized.

• If you must get out of your vehicle due to smoke or fire, exit the cab by performing a solid jump out of the cab (without touching it) and jump with both feet together or move forward safely.

• Think about your vehicle’s loading equipment and extensions. Lumber, hay, tree branches, irrigation pipes, and even loose materials can conduct electricity, so keep them out of contact with electrical equipment.

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to exit a vehicle that has contacted power lines, visit the YouTube channel or the NWEC or PPEC website: or .

The Bryan-based North Western Electric Cooperative (NWEC) is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility dedicated to providing superior service to members; safe, affordable and reliable electricity; and improving the quality of life of its community. NWEC serves nearly 5,900 consumers in Williams, Defiance, Henry and Paulding counties.

Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative (PPEC), based in Paulding, is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility that serves more than 12,900 members in Paulding, Putnam, Defiance, Van Wert and Allen counties in the ‘Ohio and Adams and Allen Counties in Indiana.

(Information courtesy of North Western Electric Cooperative and Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative)

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