Irrigation pipe plays a crucial role on most modern-day farms. Without the ability to carry life-giving water to far reaches of his land, a farmer stands little chance of raising successful crops.
Electric power lines also serve a critical function on today’s rural farms. They carry the energy so vital to the everyday operation of the entire farm. Everything from the milking machines to the family’s washing machine depends on safe, reliable electric power.
These two valuable farm servants—irrigation pipes and electric power lines—must never come into contact with one another. Aluminum irrigation pipe is an excellent conductor of electric current. If a pipe touches a power line, the person holding the pipe is subject to potentially fatal injury.
When it comes time to clean, assemble or disassemble your irrigation line, please take special care to survey your working area. Although electric distribution lines are usually strung with excellent overhead clearance, remember you will be working with unusually long pieces of metal pipe.
Look overhead and note electric lines that are within reach of the long pipes. When lifting and transporting the pipe sections, keep clear of the power lines. If possible, store your irrigation pipes in an open area, well away from power lines.
The natural tendency is to store pipes along the perimeter of a field. But the perimeter is generally where power lines are strung, so it is usually not a safe pipe storage area. It’s easy to forget about the presence of power lines. However, just one thoughtless moment can result in a tragedy on your farm.
Be sure to carefully outline safety procedures for all workers who will be handling your irrigation pipes. Stress the deadly hazard presented by the contact of pipes and electric wires.
Hunters and children have a bad habit of lifting irrigation pipes carelessly in pursuit of small animals. This is a potentially deadly practice! Warn hunters and kids to stay away.
Should an accident occur—either with or without injuries—never attempt to remove any pipe sections that are still in contact with the power lines. Telephone our office at (208) 879-2283.
Professionals will be sent immediately to take care of the problem. Pipe warning stickers are available at the SREC office front counter. Pick some up if you are interested in placing them on your irrigation pipes.