As we think about farmers a quote comes to mind, “Farming: it’s in our Jeans”*. The local farmer usually comes from generations of farmers, and they are vital to the growth of this country. Who doesn’t love the fresh taste of sweet corn, blueberries and apple pie! Therefore, in honor of National Farm Safety and Health Week, Sept. 15-21, Grand Haven Board of Light & Power offers safety tips for farm workers across Northwest Ottawa County Michigan.
One of the biggest hazards for farmers is posed by power lines. Typically, power lines over streets and rural areas have a minimal clearance of 18 feet. To stay safe around overhead power lines, Grand Haven Board of Light & Power urges farm operators and workers to:
- Use a spotter when operating large machinery…and for underground lines …always call MISS DIG before you DIG!
Avoiding Electrical Dangers during Harvest Season
- After working in a field on a neighbor’s farm, Jim Flach parked his equipment and stepped out of the vehicle. Flach received a severe electric shock that ultimately resulted in his death a few months later. His equipment was unknowingly touching an overhead power line, and he became a path to ground for an electrical current as he set his foot to the ground. Grand Haven BLP urges farmers and agricultural workers to have a safe harvest season by taking precautions around power lines.**
- The rush to harvest can result in farmers working long days with little sleep. Make sure you note the location of power lines before you start each day. Before working in a field or around shops or grain bins, always take the time to note the location of power lines, so that you can make sure to remain a safe distance from them.
Farming is one of the most dangerous professions in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Machinery and vehicles help on the job but also contribute to many farming accidents. Electricity is essential to the operation of a farm but, like so many other tools, can be dangerous. Grand Haven Board of Light & Power encourages farmers to protect themselves from the hazards of electricity and to share electrical safety information with family and workers to help keep them safe this harvest season. Look Up and Look Out to keep your harvest season safe and bountiful!
**Courtesy of Safe Electricity, a program of the Energy Education Council.
* Watch Us Grow an Illinois Farm Family