Farm safety for electricity

Friday, October 24, 2014

Never use frayed power cords
Power cords are used extensively on farms. From powering tools to powering machinery, extension cords see a lot of wear and tear. Check your power cords constantly for frays and exposed wiring.

Safe working environment
It is very important to have a safe working environment, especially when working with electrical equipment. Take special care to eliminate unnecessary hazards. Many farm environments are rough on electrical systems. Humidity in confinement houses or milking facilities can deteriorate electrical boxes very quickly. Light fixtures, wiring, and boxes can be damaged by animals or machinery bumping into them. When possible, mount distribution panels away from dangerous surroundings. Put extra thought into the location of your circuit boxes, locating them from away from possible animal abuse, dust and weather elements. If you encounter an electrical issue, contact a qualified electrician.

Use appropriate fuses and circuit breakers
Fuses and circuit breakers were designed to handle specific electrical loads. When a fuse blows, do not replace it with one that is larger than necessary for the circuit to handle a bigger load. A fuse that is too large for the circuit will not protect against an electrical overload, which can often cause fires.

Protect wiring from the elements
In corrosive farm environments, it is best to use underground electric cable to prevent damage to the wiring. Cover all electrical components outside with watertight covers to prevent accidental electrocutions.

Inspect power tools regularly
If you are working with power tools frequently, be sure to check all the parts and make sure all the connections are secure and that the power cord is not frayed.

Stay away from power lines with machinery
Transporting equipment under power lines is an everyday occurrence on most farms. It is necessary to be conscious of where power lines are located and to avoid them when moving equipment requiring high clearance. If you have low overhead wires, and constantly need higher clearance.

Always turn off and lock out power boxes during maintenance
To prevent an electrical accident with equipment or wiring, it is important to lockout all power boxes during maintenance routines.

Be aware of underground power lines
If you intend on doing any excavating on your property, be sure to check with the Missouri One Call System to prevent any accidents by digging up electrical lines. Missouri law requires that a locate request be placed before beginning any excavation.