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Stay Safe On the Farm

Avoid hazards around water and electricity

As farmers gear up for an active summer across the Commonwealth, Kenergy urges extra caution when operating irrigation equipment.

During the spring and summer, farmers often must use irrigation equipment to supplement rainfall, but water and electricity don’t mix. That’s why it’s essential to use safe work practices.

Follow these tips to stay safe:

  • Properly select and install equipment. The system should be wired to the standards of the National Electrical Code: It must have disconnect switches; it must use equipment and enclosures suitable for conditions; it must protect wires from physical damage or use jacketed irrigation cable; and it must have circuit and equipment grounding.
  • Perform routine maintenance checks. Proactively look for faulty equipment and proper wiring installation.
  • Use safe work practices. Turn off the power before working on an irrigation system. Be aware of overhead power lines when working with irrigation pipes, when standing on systems and when spraying water near power lines. Avoid wearing loose clothing and tie back long hair when near rotating equipment.
  • Beware of damp environments. Operating pumps and other equipment in damp environment increases the chance of equipment failure. Farmers who are rain-soaked and muddy are much more vulnerable to electric shock.

  • Farm work is rewarding, but it can be dangerous. Following these practices is an important way to stay safe during the busy summer season.