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Follow these tips to learn about the safe use of electricity on farms and to ensure you are staying safe.

Along with Elecsafe and the Farm Safety Association, we have developed information for safe farming around power lines.

What you should do

BE PREPARED AND HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT

Careful preparation and proper equipment are essential when working near power lines. The safest option is to hire an experienced professional to conduct the required work.

Ontario construction regulations require workers to stay at least three metres away from live power lines. Play it safe by expanding this margin whenever you are working with equipment that can fall or collapse.
 

IDENTIFY ALL POWER CABLES BEFORE BEGINNING YOUR WORK
 
Never assume an area is free of power cables. If you are raising a ladder look up first to ensure there are no overhead cables. Find out about underground cables before you dig - it is the quick and simple way to avoid the possible consequences of electrical contact. For assistance in locating underground cables, visit our Underground Cable Locate page.
 

AVOID DOWNED LINES

Storms can mean fallen power lines or damaged trees. Approaching a downed line or attempting to clear storm damaged trees that are close to power lines could cause serious injury or death. Stay back at least 10 metres and call your local emergency authorities.
 

CONDUCT A FULL SYSTEM CHECK

Is your electrical system up to code? Have your system checked by an inspector from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). Inspections are necessary when wiring is installed in a new or existing building. If your wiring is old, it is a good idea to have it checked — it is a small price to pay for knowing that your electrical system is safe. Call the ESA at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233) to book a system check.
 

What you need to do

FARM SAFETY AROUND POWER LINES 

To help you work safely near power lines, there are critical safety precautions you should observe.  Consider the following:

  • Most overhead power lines have no protective insulation. Any contact with them is dangerous.

  • Non-metallic materials such as lumber, tires, ropes, straw and hay may conduct electricity depending on dampness and surface dirt.

  • Electricity always seeks the easiest and shortest path to ground.

  • The flow of electricity into the ground around equipment or around a person in accidental contact with a power line, or surrounding a fallen power line itself, is dangerous to bystanders.

  • Overgrown vegetation can cause service interruptions. Help prevent unnecessary power outages and hazards around your property by having qualified contractors trim or remove vegetation that may interfere with your power lines.


Plan an ESA inspection if:
  • You have added a garage or other type of outbuilding

  • You have installed a new furnace or environmental control system

  • You have put in new appliances or equipment that requires electrical connections

  • You have had or are having your electrical service upgraded

Top Tips for Farming Safely Around Power Lines:
  • Always lower a portable grain auger before moving it

  • Keep at least three metres away from overhead power lines

  • Do not approach a vehicle that is in contact with a power line

  • Never try to lift a power line

  • Leave tree trimming near power lines to qualified professionals

  • Report fallen lines immediately

  • Never raise irrigation pipes without checking for safe distances from power lines

  • Before you dig, call Ontario One Call to help locate underground cables at 1-800-400-2255

  • When using a ladder, look up to locate the power line