Grain Bin Safety

Safety is the first consideration on any job at FreeState Electric Cooperative. It’s probably top of mind for construction crews and contractors when putting up new structures on farms too. One often-overlooked safety consideration is the power line clearance required for grain bins.

Anyone constructing new buildings on their property should consider the proper clearance required for them. If someone is unsure how much clearance is enough, they should call us to discuss their project. If the new structure requires electricity, we’ll likely be involved anyway.

An extremely dangerous situation for line crews and farm personnel alike is created when proper clearance isn’t given for power lines near grain bins. This is because of the portable augers and dump trucks that are often used to move grain. The best way to avoid problems is to put bins a safe distance from any overhead power lines.

The National Electrical Safety Code sets minimum clearances for high-voltage lines (over 600 volts) near grain bins. Vertical clearances depend on the height of the bin and the distance from the side of the bin, as shown below. This illustration refers to the loading side of a grain bin. An area where portable augers will not be present can be considered a Non-Loading Side. In addition, power lines must be at least 18 feet above the tops of new grain bins. Contact FreeState at 1-800-794-1989 to help determine the exact distance your facilities need to be in order to be in compliance.

Click to download clearance requirements