For more information, contact:
Tina Potthoff, Media Relations Manager, at 515-281-2585
Tim Grabinski, Director, Communication Planning, at 515-281-2343
DES MOINES, Iowa – (Sept. 11, 2012) – Harvest season is already underway in some parts of MidAmerican Energy Company's service territory. Harvest season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for farmers. The risk of serious injury around grain-handling and storage areas, particularly when portable augers are used, is extremely high. MidAmerican Energy offers the following reminders to help keep farmers safe this season:
Power Line Safety
- Be aware of overhead power lines. Lower augers to transport level when near power lines. Know the height of cultivators or planters in the fold-up position; the equipment may be taller than during field use. Always make sure the auger system has a good ground connection.
- If a tractor comes in contact with a power line, remain seated until help arrives. If there is danger of fire, jump as far away from the tractor as possible and keep your feet together when landing. Do not allow any part of your body to touch the equipment and the ground at the same time. Many injuries occur when equipment operators attempt to get back on or touch equipment after dismounting.
- Never attempt to raise or move a power line.
- Watch for guy wires, which support utility poles. Damaging a guy wire can weaken a pole and bring live power lines down, creating an extremely hazardous situation.
- Do not erect fence wire along the same route as an overhead line, and do not string fence wire where it may come into contact with an overhead line.
- Make sure all outlets are three-hole, grounded outlets with faceplates.
- Install a lock-out switch that can turn off all electricity from one area.
- If there are any doubts about the state of electrical circuits, wiring or equipment on a farm, have a licensed electrician inspect them.
- Ground the entire electrical system, and protect ground wires and rods from damage.
Grain Bin Safety
- If it is necessary to enter a grain bin, shut off and lock out electricity before entering. Use a safety harness and safety line, and have people available outside the bin in case of an emergency.
- Know the National Electric Safety Code requirements for horizontal clearance between the side of the grain bin and adjacent power lines and the vertical clearance above the bin to the nearest line. Make sure the wiring on the property complies.
- Contact MidAmerican Energy before constructing or remodeling a grain bin to ensure the electrical transformer is of adequate size.
If farm equipment comes in contact with a utility line or other piece of electrical equipment, call MidAmerican Energy immediately at 800-799-4443. For more information on farm safety tips, visit www.midamericanenergy.com/safety.
MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest energy company, provides electric service to 732,000 customers and natural gas service to 714,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via www.midamericanenergy.com.