Coop urging power line safety as Harvest 2017 continues

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Harvest is now in full swing all across the KSFY viewing area and while the process is old hat for many South Dakota farmers, accidents can still happen.

In particular accidents where large pieces of equipment run into power lines. I's a deadly combination that one electric cooperative is working to avoid.

For decades, Mark Hofer has farmed the land in rural Hanson County.
And while doing the work that goes into a harvest is fulfilling, it is also dangerous. "We all get more tired and accidents are a lot easier to happen." Hofer tells us accidents specifically involving power lines are 100% avoidable so long as you are aware of your surroundings. He says the threat can be easy to identify. "Very seldom is there a power pole in the middle of the field. They're always in the corners of the field and along the right of ways."

Harvest would be an accident free time in a perfect world. But....

"We know contacts do happen. We want them to do the right thing by calling 911 or calling their local cooperative to get the help that they need." Patrick Soukup is with Central Electric Cooperative and tells us his co-op deals with 3-4 power line hits a year.
But those are 3-4 too many. Soukup wants that number to be zero which is why he is out reminding farmers to be oh so careful right now. "We want our members to come home safe every night. We want them to be aware of what's overhead."

Mark Hofer says he and the guys he is working with stop every so often to take a break, to walk around their machines to look for any problems and generaly just make time to clear their heads. "Fortunately I've never had to call somebody and say your husband or your friend is not coming home tonight."

If you're in a farm vehicle that hits a power line you shold stay put and call for help.
But if you have to leave, cross your arms and with your feet together jump to the ground then shuffle away at least 40 feet away.