The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is working in partnership with Idaho Power, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric — the three major regulated electric utility service providers in Oregon — to remind the agricultural community of important tips to ensure they stay SAFE when working near power lines.
Those working in the agricultural industry are reminded to stay SAFE:
- Scan the area – always look around and look up to check for power lines and other potential hazards before starting work.
- Avoid extending farm equipment, including irrigation pipes, within 10 feet of overhead power lines. Keep in mind that overhead lines can be as low as 18 feet off the ground, so always carry irrigation pipes, which are 30-40 feet long, horizontally. If required to tip up to discharge water or dirt build-up, scan for power lines overhead.
- Frequently re-evaluate the area for changing safety hazards.
- Educate fellow employees to ensure safety throughout the agricultural community.
“Serious injury or fatal electrocution can occur if farm equipment, including irrigation pipes, gets too close or accidentally touches a live power line,” said Lori Koho, PUC Utility Safety and Reliability Administrator.
Overhead distribution power lines can carry up to 13,000 volts of electricity and objects such as trees and water can conduct electricity.
“Reminding our agricultural community to stay SAFE and be vigilant around overhead power lines in an important message, said Koho. “We encourage the community to work directly with their electricity service provider on any safety concerns or for additional tips and information on how to work safely around electricity.”
Click the links provided for additional safety information: Idaho Power’s Overhead Power Line Safety, Pacific Power’s Farm and Ranch Safety, and Portland General Electric’s Look Up and Live – Power Line Safety.