AGRIBUSINESS: Danger Of Farm Equipment Near Power Lines

In 2012 three Iowans died because of injury by electric currents, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
At the 2013 Farm Progress show in Boone, the electric cooperatives of Iowa gathered together with demonstrations showing the dangers of electricity, especially in relation to farmers.
Doug Bowman with Midland Power says the main goal is to help people understand the power of electricity. In the demonstrations Bowman says they have special equipment to deal with power lines, and not to try dealing with power lines at home.

“We are going to simulate what happens if someone were to stick a grain auger up into the line, if there was a car accident, or a tractor was to stick the booms of a sprayer up into the line. The dangers of the electricity injuring them and worse, killing them.”

Bowman says they focus specifically on large augers that are portable.
“We’ve had deaths in the state of Iowa from that accident. So we’re trying to make sure that they understand that if they even get close to the power line, that electricity can jump across, come down the auger and if they’re pushing it around, they’re the path to ground.”
He says if a vehicles comes in contact with wires the best thing to do is to stay put.
“Most generally if you stay in the vehicle do not contact the vehicle and the ground at the same time, you’re going to be safe.” He says, “Most people have cellphones now. Stay in that vehicle, and get on the phone, and call 911 or the electric provider in your area.”
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