SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- During National Farm Safety & Health Week from September 16-22, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges farm workers to practice safe behavior when working and operating equipment around electric and gas lines.
Overhead power lines and underground gas and electric lines often share space with farms and orchards. Serious and even fatal accidents can occur when workers and the equipment they operate make contact with these utility lines.
To help farm workers avoid these types of accidents, PG&E offers six specific safety tips:
- LOOK UP! Always look up for overhead power lines before beginning any activity.
- Follow 10-foot rule. Keep everything—you, the tools and materials you are handling, and the equipment you are operating—as far away as possible from all overhead power lines and never come closer than 10 feet. Any contact with wires by branches, pipe or equipment can be fatal.
- Call 811 before you dig. Always know what's below before digging in the ground or you run the risk of breaking an underground gas or electric line. Every three minutes nationwide, an underground utility line is damaged during a digging project. So it is important for projects big and small to call 811 before you dig to have professional locators mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, chalk-based spray paint or both.
- Irrigate with care. Do not spray water on overhead power lines, electrical equipment or electrical structures. Doing so can damage equipment, and a stream of water hitting a power line can create a path for electricity to travel back to you.
- Use caution when moving equipment. Never stand an irrigation pipe on its end near a power line. Always lower grain augers and other crop handling and tillage equipment before moving them anywhere near power lines. Never store materials directly underneath or adjacent to power lines. Beware of hooking guy wires when moving equipment.
- If you make any kind of contact with electric or gas lines, always call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000, and stay away from damaged equipment until help arrives. Even if you don't bring a structure or wire down, you might have weakened the structure or created a hazardous situation.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company