With farming equipment getting bigger and better every year, the chances of coming in contact with powerlines also grows. That's why SaskPower is reminding farmers, constructions crews and other workers to take that extra minute to ensure you know exactly where all overhead and underground power lines are located.
"Especially in a year with such a late spring," explained Jordan Jackle, a spokesperson with SaskPower, "producers are likely feeling that pressure to get done seeding. Construction companies are maybe doing a bit of underground work they were hoping to get done a few weeks ago."
"We're reminding people to take that time to identify those overhead and underground power lines before you go about your work."
"Whether it's a yard you've worked in for years or field you're maybe seeding for the first time, it only takes a moment to take a look. Be aware out there and be safe."
"Maybe somebody who is working in a farmyard they have worked in their entire life, they know where those lines are but maybe they're going about a task that they're looking to do in a hurry and they haven't taken that time to spot those overhead hazards."
SaskPower is also handing out decals to put on the dash of your vehicle to remind you to 'Look Up and Live.'
He adds that fatigue can contribute to accidental power line contact so he advises workers to take breaks and drink water to avoid becoming overtired.
"Make sure you lower your equipment when needed and use a spotter to prevent contact if you are working in tight spaces. Another is to take multiple breaks throughout the day making sure you get plenty of rest. And that goes back to it's a late spring, people are out there really trying to get this done because maybe they weren't able to get some of this work done a few weeks ago. But it's important to get that rest and really pay attention to your surroundings."
"If you do happen to contact a power line, ideally, stay in the cab and call SaskPower at 306-310-2220 or 911. But if your vehicle has caught fire and it is not safe to stay in it, you do need to get out. After making sure that there's no wire in your way, cross your arms, put your feet together, and then jump as far away as you can from your vehicle hopping for at least 10 meters away, again, keeping your feet together. And make sure not to touch your vehicle."
Over the last ten years, over 6,000 power line contacts in Saskatchewan and nine people have died.