Seeding Season Safety

Over the past year there were 90 reported incidents of farm equipment contacting overhead power lines in Manitoba. Forty per cent of these contacts were with cultivators.

Farm injuries can have devastating effects, both emotionally and economically, to producers and their families. And most injuries are predictable and preventable when people know what to look for and how to minimize farm hazards.

If you have overhead power lines on your farm, consider burying them. Manitoba Hydro’s Go Underground Program compensates a portion of the costs related to moving the primary power line underground in farm yards.

Buried power lines:

  • eliminate the danger of farm equipment coming in contact with overhead power lines;
  • prevent the possibility of lines coming down in storms;
  • improve the appearance of the farm yard.

Discuss power line safety with everyone who works on the farm:

Plan your route ahead of time. Do you know the height of a power line can change depending on the temperature outside, the load it’s carrying, and whether it is windy or calm? Cultivators, air seeders and grain augers 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.

Never attempt to move a power line out of the way. Only properly trained and equipped Manitoba Hydro employees can safely lift power lines.

Never transport metal elevators, ladders or irrigation pipes near power lines. Farm equipment is a good conductor of electricity and a power line can flash or arc at a considerable distance even without direct contact to the power line. If your equipment or load exceeds 15 feet 9 inches or 4.8 metres, obtain an agricultural move permit from Manitoba Hydro.

Visit hydro.mb.ca to find out more information about farm safety and our Go Underground Program.

Prepared by Linda Carter, PHEc Public Safety & Education Coordinator, Manitoba Hydro