Electricity safety on the farm

Farming means you’re often outdoors working with tools and equipment. Even though you’ve got lots to do, take the time to work safely. 

Work safely around power lines in the field

  • Look up and be aware of overhead power lines before working outside. Try to keep a distance of at least three metres (10 feet) and preferably 10 metres (33 feet) at all times. 
  • If you’ll be digging – for example, to install new fence poles, plant trees or build a new structure – click or call BC One Call first to find out the locations of gas lines and other buried utilities. 
  • Look for hidden wires in branches before pruning trees, and if you see a hazard call us at 1-866-436-7847. On some sites we’re responsible for trimming trees, and on others we can advise you of the safest course of action, such as having a professional do the job safely. See trees near power lines for more details.
  • Be careful with moving and storing irrigation pipes near power lines, as both water and metal can conduct electricity. Store pipes at least 10 metres away from any power lines. 
  • When irrigating crops, ensure your sprinklers aren’t spraying water on overhead power lines, as that water could conduct electricity and potentially cause a shock. 
  • Store hay bales a safe distance from power lines, as large stacks could be an invitation for children to climb too close.  
  • Lower grain augers before moving them. Ensure there is enough clearance (at least 10 metres) between overhead wires and equipment like combines, tractors or cultivators. 

Report electricity emergencies and hazards

If you see an electricity hazard or a downed power line, stay at least 10 metres (33 feet, about the length of a school bus) away and call us at 1-866-436-7847 (24 hours) or 911 immediately.