Farm equipment contact with overhead power lines can be deadly

Keep an eye out for overhead power lines when operating or transporting tall farm
equipment. Most overhead power lines have no protective insulation and contact with them can be deadly or cause disabling injuries, serious burns and costly repairs to your equipment. Plan your travel route to be sure your machinery can safely pass under power lines. Remember, even hitting a bump in the road could suddenly lift tall equipment into contact with an overhead power line.

Here are some guidelines to keep you and your farm workers safe during spring seeding:
• Visualize your route ahead of time. Cultivators and air seeders are at high risk for contact with overhead power lines. If you can’t avoid passing under a power line, proceed cautiously and check constantly to make sure your machinery is a safe distance away from the power line.
• Don’t allow anyone to ride on top of farm equipment or hay bales in transport.
• Never attempt to move a power line out of the way using lumber or a pole. Only properly trained and equipped Manitoba Hydro employees can safely lift power lines.
• Never transport metal elevators, ladders or irrigation pipes near power lines.
• Know the height of your equipment and load. If your equipment or load exceeds 4.8 metres or 15’ 9”, you will need an agricultural move permit from Manitoba Hydro. The Agricultural Equipment Move permit is issued annually and is valid till December 31st of the current year. Restrictions on height, length and width have been established to protect everyone who uses the roadways.
• Create a farm safety plan. Farm injuries can have devastating effects, both emotionally and economically to producers and their families. Yet most injuries are predictable and preventable when workers know what to look for and how to control farm hazards. Plan for a safe seeding season on your farm.

Prepared by Linda Carter, PHEc
Manitoba Hydro