Safety should be a priority 365 days a year, but there are some times around the calendar where an extra emphasis doesn't hurt.

Farmers in the middle of harvest often have to contend with power poles when moving their equipment. The latest stats from SaskPower in 2023 concerning these incidents are telling that the trend isn't going down.

"This year, SaskPower has observed 187 incidents involving farm equipment (as of August 8), which is up from 169 on the same day last year, likely due to seeding and harvest beginning earlier. 2022 had a total of 248 farm-related incidents."

Director of Safety at SaskPower Nidal Dabghi says the most important thing to do before operating large equipment around power lines is to have a plan. That can mean anything from planning your route ahead of time, making sure you’re well aware of where power lines are, and taking routine breaks to avoid fatigue.

"Taking these small steps will help everyone come home safe.” 

During seeding and harvest around the province SaskPower routinely deals with farm related line contacts. Lowering your equipment between moves is a good way to avoid that fate. Planning your work is key, but the help of others can also play a big factor, example being utilizing a spotter on the ground.

Another precautionary tip is to check out and their Look Up and Live map.

"Above all, SaskPower reminds farmers to remain alert and aware of nearby power lines. In the event of a line contact, operators should remain in the vehicle and call the SaskPower Outage Centre at 310- 2220, if safe to do so."

If the worst case scenario does happen, it's important to know that operators should only leave the vehicle in the event of a fire or emergency, using the safe exit procedure and the following tips from SaskPower:

  • Swing the vehicle door wide open, being sure to not touch the outside of the vehicle
  • Make sure no wires are in your way
  • Stand in the doorway of the vehicle, cross your arms in front of your chest and put your feet together
  • Jump as far from the vehicle as possible, making sure you don’t touch the outside of the vehicle. Land with your feet together
  • With your arms still crossed and feet together, hop away from the vehicle (at least 10 metres)
  • Call 911 immediately. Under no circumstances should you return to your vehicle until SaskPower has confirmed the area is safe.

Always do your best to stay safe during harvest. Check out some other tips from this time of year below. 

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