Harvest is underway in the province and farmers are being reminded to take care in the fields and look out for overhead power lines.
"Every year we do see a number of farm machinery contacting our power equipment out in the field," Jordan Jackle Spokesperson for SaskPower said. "It is most prevalent during seeding and we kind of attribute that to the size of the equipment out there, whether it be seeders and eventually sprayers, but we do see another surge heading into harvest time as well."
He said it only takes a moment of your time to prevent a life-threatening incident with a power line.
"The general advice that we give," Jackle said. "is that you just take that little bit of time before you start moving your equipment. You get in the cab, take that moment to really look around, see if you can see any overhead lines and really eliminate that risk before you get going."
Since April 1st this year, Jackle said we've seen 220 different farm machinery contacts in the province.
"That's a range of things," Jackle said. "that's farm machinery contacting various sorts of equipment, whether it be a power pole, a power line or say a mounted transformer in a field or something. But the tally right now is sitting at about 220 for the season including seeding until now."
He said those are numbers that seem to get higher every year.
"In general the trend is upwards," he said. "and the reason for that is the fact that equipment out there, year over year, continues to get bigger and bigger. As the size of the equipment increases, it makes it that much more important to really pay attention to how wide your equipment is, when you maneuvering around power poles for example, and really going about your business in a safe manner."
Jackle recommended farmers plan their routes ahead of time and ensure your equipment is small enough to fit under power lines before moving it.
If contact is made between a piece of equipment and a power pole or line, the best thing to do is stay inside the vehicle. Call SaskPower immediately at 310-2220 or call 911. Bystanders should be at least 33 feet or 10 meters away.
If your equipment has started on fire and you have no choice to exit, make sure to do so safely.
- Check that there are no wires in your way while exiting.
- Stand in the doorway, cross your arms and put your feet together.
- Jump as far as possible away from the vehicle and land with feet together and arms crossed.
- Keep your arms crossed and feet together
- Hop at least 10 meters away. If you feel any tingling sensation hop further away.