Everyone must be aware of the electrical hazards associated with overhead and underground power lines. Farm equipment is getting larger which makes knowing your clearances even more important. Power systems are designed and constructed using vertical and horizontal clearances that allow for public and worker safety.
It is the member's responsibility to contact FreeState Electric Cooperative to determine the safe clearance.
Electricity always tries to move toward the ground through the easiest path. It can jump or arc to equipment. Observing safe limits will protect you from fire, severe shock, or electrocution.
To help prevent a contact include the power system in your purchasing of equipment and the planning of the work to be done:
- Know what work is to be completed
- Know the size and type of equipment to be used
- Know the location of the power system
- Maintain a safe distance from the power system
Working Close to Overhead Power Systems
The single most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to:
- Verify the height of your load before you begin to move/work. If you are moving an over height load on public roads, you will need to investigate our requirements. Contact the operations department to do this.
- Note the location of overhead lines, even if you will just be moving equipment around the farm. Line heights can vary depending on the weather and age of the lines.
- Know that vegetation near power lines may also be hazards.
- Piling of material (bales, dirt, gravel, etc) should not be located under power lines, which will reduce the clearances.
- Please contact FreeState if you have any questions.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MEASURE THE EXISTING POWER LINES
Steps to safely dig:
Whether you are planning to plant a new tree, put in fencing, or add a deck, have all underground lines located before you start. Contact the locator at least two business days before digging.
Call 811 before you dig.
Take the time to determine the location of all underground electrical lines. Excavating near power poles can be dangerous. Although buried electrical lines are insulated, contact with a sharp shovel or equipment could easily damage the protective covering and expose you to harmful electrical current. The number and depth of cables will vary. Use extreme caution.
Do not disturb the soil near the base of a pole.