Safety crops up as priority during busy fall harvest season

SALT LAKE CITY — Harvests of many kinds are well underway in the many rural communities Rocky Mountain Power serves. The busy fall harvest season is the most highly productive yet most dangerous time of the year for farmers, ranchers and their work crews, according to the National Agricultural Safety Database.

“As the Utah’s largest rural power supplier, we know that fall harvest is a critical time of year. This is when the year’s investment pays off, but only if you take the time to stay safe, which is why we are focused on this season as much as you are,” said Jeremy Gee, health and safety manager for Rocky Mountain Power. “Electricity helps with the harvest, but if you take it for granted and try to cut corners, tragedy could result.”

Customers and the public can get important safety materials, including Rocky Mountain Power’s “Electrical Safety on Your Farm or Ranch” brochure, or “Alerta! Fuera de Casa” brochure in Spanish, and “Look Up and Live” irrigation safety stickers in both English and Spanish – or schedule a free safety presentation – by calling Rocky Mountain Power toll free at 1-888-221-7070 or by visiting

There are two main areas in which to concentrate safety efforts:

Power Line Safety

  • Be aware of overhead power lines. Lower augers, harvesters or other equipment to transport level to ensure adequate clearance when near power lines. Know the height of cultivators or planters in the fold-up position; the equipment may be taller than during field use.
  • If a tractor or vehicle comes in contact with a power line, remain seated until help arrives. If there is danger of fire, jump as far away from the tractor as possible and keep your feet together when landing. Do not allow any part of your body to touch the equipment and the ground at the same time. Many injuries have occurred when equipment operators attempted to get back on or touch equipment after dismounting.
  • Never attempt to raise or move a power line.
  • Watch for guy wires, which are attached to and support utility poles and the ground. Striking a guy wire can damage your equipment and weaken a pole or even bring live power lines down, creating an extremely hazardous situation.
  • Do not erect fence wire along the same route as an overhead line and do not string fence wire where it may come into contact with an overhead line.

Electrical Safety

  • Make sure all outlets are three-hole, grounded outlets with faceplates.
  • Install a lock-out switch that can turn off all electricity to one area, for fast action in an emergency.
  • If there are any doubts about the state of electrical circuits, wiring or equipment on a farm, have a licensed electrician inspect them.
  • Properly ground the entire electrical system and protect ground wires and rods from damage.

If a line has fallen on the ground or on some other object or piece of equipment, always assume it’s hot, live or energized. Stay clear, keep others away and call 911 and Rocky Mountain Power toll free at 1-888-221-7070.

Another great source for safety information is the National Agricultural Safety Database. Visit to find out more.

“By being extra careful and refreshing everyone on safety, especially with an expanded workforce on hand, we can all work together and enjoy a safe and bountiful harvest,” said Gee.