May 2021

IT’S SAFE TO SAY

A message from our leader

Jody Wacowich, Executive Director of AgSafe Alberta

Now that seeding is well underway across the province, we want you to think about the risks of working with energy on your farm. For many of you electricity will be the first thing that comes to mind when I mention energy. Did you know that I am also referring to these forms of energy as well: hydraulic, thermal, mechanical, pneumatic, radiation, chemical and gravitational?

Do you know how to isolate energy on your farm to complete the work you need to do? See our Take 11 feature below for quick and easy reminders to keep yourself and your team safe and productive. 

Our friends at Fortis want us to remind you about the dangers around power lines. In 2020 FortisAlberta recorded 14 power line contacts with air seeders and sprayers and so far in 2021, there have been four contacts involving air seeders. This is why we’ve worked with Fortis to include some helpful hints for power line safety on your farm in the Safety Minute section below.

These next weeks will undoubtedly be busy on your farm. But nothing matters more than you and your farm team’s health and safety. People are a farm’s most valuable resource, so lets get through this season safely.

 

Questions or concerns? We are always here to help you out. Contact our team anytime:

– General inquiries: info@agsafeab.ca | 403-219-7901

– Hotline for incidence assistance: 1-833-9AGSAFE

Jody Wacowich
AgSafe Executive Director

SAFETY MINUTE

Reminders about power line safety this spring

Right now you’ll be getting ready to use some of your major equipment and machinery again after it’s been parked for the winter. Farm equipment can be extremely dangerous – in fact machinery run overs are the leading cause of death on Alberta farms in the spring. See below for some best practices for farm equipment/machinery safety.

Equipment/machinery management

  • Keep any unnecessary individuals away from work areas, and if someone must approach a piece of equipment, ensure they know how to do so safely.
  • Before using a piece of equipment, ensure that you fully understand how to operate the equipment, it’s capabilities and what the hazards are.
  • If that piece of equipment has been sitting for a long time, perform a quick visual check and key function tests on it to ensure that it is ready for use.
  • One seat in a piece of equipment means one person only. Extra riders can be distracting and can be thrown out and run over if the equipment hits a bump.

Seeding has just begun so FortisAlberta urges farmers to always ask themselves, ‘Where’s the Line?’  ‘Stay 7 Meters Safe’ and call us at 310-WIRE (9473) if you need to get closer. If you contact a line, know how to respond safely. Our goal is that you return home safely each day. 

The size of farm equipment is getting bigger each year and it has doubled in size since the 1950’s. While air seeders and sprayers top the list of equipment that contact their lines on farms, track hoes, wing-type drills and harrows, augers and tractors are also of concern.

So before you wing up, measure up. Be sure to know the height of your farm equipment and watch for guy wires that are attached to poles. Have a power line safety plan for your farm and stay safe with these important tips:

  • Check the height of your equipment
  • Plan when moving tall equipment (especially higher than 4.15 meters)
  • Stay seven metres away from power lines
  • Stack and store wisely (grain bins, bale storage etc.,)
  • Assume downed power lines are energized ALWAYS stay 10 meters away

If you bring a line down on your equipment or tractor – stop, stay calm and stay inside unless there is a risk of fire. If you must exit the cab, do so by jumping clear with your FEET TOGETHER. Do not touch anything. Shuffle away 10 metres with your feet together.

Download your Power Line Farm Safety Plan at fortisalberta.com or call 310-WIRE (9473) for more safety information.

Energy isolation 
 
Risk zones for energy isolation on the farm include the farmyard, shop, buildings/structures and machinery. Many different types of energy sources can be found on farms, such as:

Lock out tag Out (LOTO) saves lives

Lock Out Tag Out refers to practices and procedures that protect workers from the unexpected energization or start-up of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during repair or maintenance. Lock out devices hold energy-isolation devices in a safe or “off” position and must only be removed by the person who put it there. Tag out devices are warning devices that an authorized employee fastens to energy-isolating devices to warn others not to re-energize the machine or equipment.

May 2021

If you would like a LOTO tag for your operation please email info@agsafeab.ca.


Safety tips for practicing energy islolation

  • Inform all affected individuals of the equipment you are locking out and if it is for repair or maintenance reasons.
  • Confirm that all energy sources are isolated, locked and tagged out of service.
  • Verify there is zero energy in equipment and test for residual or stored energy.
  • Follow all Lock Out Tag Out procedures.
  • De-energize, lock out and tag out all energy sources yourself.
  • Block equipment/machinery against motion after it has been locked out and tagged out.
  • Relieve hydraulic and pneumatic pressure after equipment has been locked out and before performing maintenance.
  • Replace all guards before returning the equipment to service.
Farmers Care Energy Isolation Video
Farmers Care Energy Isolation Video

TAKE 11

Reacquaint yourself with the fundamentals of farm safety!

Visit Take11.ca for quick, helpful tips on energy isolation for your farm!

May 2021

SAFETY FIRST, LAST THOUGHTS

Take care out there

Farmers are always busy, especially at this time of the year. It is very important to ensure you aren’t burning yourself out, because when you’re too tired to do the job, you put everyone at risk! Here are some quick tools to help you manage fatigue on the farm, for yourself and others.

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