Farm safety a constant challenge


Keeping everyone safe on your farm is complex and requires constant attention.

There is so much to think about. Lethal machinery such as augers. Dangerous power tools. Quad bikes. Poisonous chemicals. Handling animals.

These are some of the issues that were top of mind when SA Power Networks talked to farmers about on-farm safety.

“The focus group we had with farmers really brought home to me the reality of safety for farmers,” said Manager Corporate Affairs, Paul Roberts.

<>“They are constantly doing work where there are many hazards, but they also face situations that can be unpredictable.”

“The farmers we spoke to clearly were aware of safety, but they had a lot to think about to keep everyone safe on their farm. It also became really clear that the presence opowerlines on farms was not front-of-mind, although they were recognised as a risk.”

Paul said he could understand that, given the number of hazards on farms.
“While I understand there are many issues to think about, farmers can’t and shouldn’t forget that while electricity is extremely useful, it can also be a killer.”

On-farm incidents with powerlines are all too common.

“Incidents occur in all types of situations from people operating tip trucks, augers, headers, excavators, elevating work platforms, scissor lifts and spray booms, to assembling of irrigation pipes and even scaffolding,” Paul said.

“Again, what was clear from our focus group was that people were not entirely sure of how to keep themselves safe if they do get a vehicle or machinery tangled with powerlines. They were keen for some clear guidance.”

What to do if you contact a powerline

When an object or vehicle comes into contact with power lines there is a high risk of electric shock. If this happens, you should immediately contact SA Power Networks on 13 13 66 and (preferably) do not move until the power is switched off.

If a vehicle strikes a power line it is best to stay inside the vehicle until help can arrive. Others in the vicinity should keep well clear of the vehicle until SA Power Networks staff have confirmed the line is safe.

If it is necessary to evacuate the vehicle to prevent injury, several steps must be followed to maximise your safety, including:

SA Power

  • Jump out and clear of the vehicle, ensuring you do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.
  • Calmly walk away using small steps until you are at least 10 metres clear (about a bus length).
  • Call SA Power Networks immediately on 13 13 66.
  • Do not return to the vehicle until after the area has been made safe.
  • Keep other people well clear.

In a power emergency call 13 13 66. For an ambulance or police assistance, call 000.

Article kindly provided by SA Power Networks.

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