Safety is job number one! In addition to the training that WECA’s Job Training & Safety Program for electric cooperative employees and public safety announcements, our members are also very engaged in safety programs and outreach efforts.
Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility
- Avoid power lines. Most overhead electric powerlines are bare wire or are coated with weatherproofing material and are not insulated. Consider any electric line dangerous and always assume it is energized. Keep all objects such as farm equipment, ladders, poles, antennas, kites, balloons, play forts, or anything that may come into contact or cause someone to come into contact away from power lines.
Never touch a power line. Do not attempt to move powerline. Do not attempt to free anything caught in a powerline. Please contact your local electric cooperative for help.
- Call before you dig. Many power lines are buried underground. Contact 811 at least three working days before you plan to dig or hammer fence posts into the ground. This free call and service will show you where power lines owed by your local electric cooperative and other public utility lines are located. Be aware that private lines such as electric service lines to outbuildings, most propane gas lines, or septic systems as examples will not be located by calling 811. Private lines are your responsibly to locate before you dig!
- Trees. Tree limbs that grow near power lines can be unsafe. People that climb trees near power lines can get hurt or worse. Never trim trees near power lines. Contact your local electric cooperative if you notice a tree or limb that is too close to a power line. Please see our tree planting guide for tips on planting trees near power lines.
- Farm Safety.
- Use a spotter when operating large machinery near lines.
- Keep equipment at least 10 feet from lines at all times, in all directions.
- Look up and use care when moving any equipment such as extending augers or raising the bed of grain trucks around power lines.
- Inspect the height of farm equipment to determine clearance.
- Always set extensions to the lowest setting when moving loads to prevent contact with overhead lines. Grain augers should always be positioned horizontally before being moved.
- Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.
- If a power line is sagging or low, contact your utility.
- If equipment does make contact with a power line, do not leave the cab. Immediately call 911, warn others to stay away, and wait for the utility crew to cut the power.
- The only reason to exit equipment that has come into contact with overhead lines is if the equipment is on fire, which is rare. However, if this is the case, jump off the equipment with your feet together and without touching the ground and machinery at the same time. Then, still keeping feet together, hop to safety as you leave the area.
- Never touch or get on machinery that is hung-up in a power line until the electric utility disconnects the line.
- Know where all overhead power lines are on your property!
- Portable Electric Generators. Read and follow all manufacturer safety and operating instructions. Make sure the generator is properly grounded according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure you understand the manufacturer’s safety and operating instructions before using the generator.
Never plug a portable electric generator into a wall outlet or connect it directly to a home’s wiring. This can energize utility powerlines and injure you or others working nearby. Electrical back feed can also damage the generator and home electrical equipment.