SaskPower Reminds Farmers to Look Up and Live this Spring as Seeding Begins in Saskatchewan
May 15, 2023
As seeding begins across Saskatchewan, we're reminding farmers to work with extreme caution around power lines, offering tips to avoid power infrastructure and what to do should a line contact occur.
We routinely see an increase in line contacts involving farm equipment in the spring and in the fall, with 248 reported last year.
“Seeding is a very busy time for Saskatchewan farmers, and we are encouraging anyone operating heavy machinery near power lines to do so with safety top of mind,” said Nidal Dabghi, SaskPower Director of Safety. “While no one starts their day expecting to hit a power line, it’s important to take steps to avoid a dangerous line contact.”
We recommend farmers take routine breaks to avoid fatigue, use a spotter on the ground, lower or collapse equipment when moving from field to field, and plan their route ahead of time to be prepared for potential hazards using our Look Up and Live interactive map.
In the event of a line contact, it’s critical to remain inside the vehicle and call our Outage Centre at 310-2220, if safe to do so. Operators should attempt to back up slowly to free the vehicle but should stop immediately if the line is not coming free, or if it appears the line or pole could break.
Only leave the vehicle in the event of a fire or emergency, using the safe exit procedure:
- Swing the vehicle door wide open, being sure to not touch the outside of the vehicle.
- Make sure no wires are in your way.
- Stand in the doorway of the vehicle, cross your arms in front of your chest and put your feet together.
- Jump as far from the vehicle as possible, making sure you don’t touch the outside of the vehicle. Land with your feet together.
- With your arms still crossed and feet together, hop away from the vehicle (at least 10 metres).
- Call 911 immediately.
- Under no circumstances should you return to your vehicle.
For more information on working safely around power lines, visit saskpower.com/lookupandlive.
At a glance...
- We're encouraging farmers to work with safety top of mind during seeding.
- Taking routine breaks, using a spotter, and planning the route ahead of time are some tips offered by SaskPower.
- SaskPower saw 248 line contacts involving farm equipment last year.
- Following the safe exit procedure, in the event of an emergency, is critical.
- Learn more at saskpower.com/lookupandlive.