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MAHE Board Member Interview: Heather Deibert

We’re back for another instalment of our MAHE Board Member Interview series. Today we’re talking with, Heather Deibert, IPHE Committee Chairperson.

Who are you and what do you do?

Hello, my name is Heather Deibert. I graduated from the Faculty of Human Ecology with a Comprehensive degree. This degree was a general degree with courses from all the major areas: Foods and Nutrition, Clothing and Textiles and Family Studies. After graduation I worked for Winnipeg Hydro (City of Winnipeg) as a Home Economist for 15 years.  With a young family I decided to take 5 years off and stay home. I then re-entered the work force as a Substitute Teacher in Human Ecology with Louis Riel School Division.  A few years later I added some contract work as the Promotions and Marketing Rep with Loveday Mushroom Farms.

How long have you been a MAHE Member?

I have been a member of MAHE since I was in 3rd year University. I found the contacts I made and the networking opportunities at the meetings very helpful in making great connections to help in my career.

What do you enjoy most about being a MAHE member?

I enjoy being a member of MAHE and discovering all the varied careers our grads find employment, the networking opportunities and the friends I made over the years.

What piece of advice could you offer to new PHEc’s or IPHE’s?

My advise to new grads and IPHE members would be to get out and meet as many people as you can and learn from other people and members. You never know when one of those connections will help you in your job search or create a career opportunity down the road. Good Luck!

For more, please check out our past interview with Sheila Stark-Perreault.

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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 to find out more information about farm safety and our Go Underground Program.

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

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What to do if You Encounter a Downed Power Line

Do you know what to do if you encounter a downed power line?

Picture it. There’s a winter storm and snow and ice has built up on the road, trees and power lines. Your car slides into a hydro pole and an ice-laden power line comes down. Contact with a downed power line can be fatal. Would you know what to do?

Follow these steps:

• Stay where you are as it may be dangerous to exit the vehicle.

• Back the vehicle well away from contact with the line if it’s safe to do so. • Warn others to stay clear of the power line.

• Call Manitoba Hydro at 1-888-624-9376 to de-energize the line.

If it is not safe for you to stay in the vehicle due to fire or other immediate danger, do not simply step out of the vehicle as your body can make a path for electricity to the ground, electrocuting you. Exit the vehicle by following these steps:

• Keep your feet together.

• Hold your arms tightly at your sides.

• Jump without touching the vehicle and ground at the same time.

• With your feet together, shuffle or hop away from the downed line.

Other life-saving tips to be aware of regarding a downed pole or power line:

• Never try to move a downed line out of your way using any type of object. Since improper handling can result in serious injury or death, this job must be left in the hands of trained professionals.

• Assume all downed lines are energized and dangerous. Keep 10 metres away (about the length of a bus) from a downed line and any other object the line may be touching, including water and fences.

• Report a downed power line immediately to Manitoba Hydro or to the police and warn others to stay away. Stay clear of low or sagging power lines. Travelling under or near these lines can be dangerous.

To learn more about electrical safety, visit

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

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