Safe Electricity program
Your cooperative has a strong commitment to making sure everyone understands the safe use of electricity and precautions to take while working around electric equipment and appliances. That's why MiEnergy is part of a broad program called Safe Electricity.
Safe Electricity promotes safety awareness through many communications, including general and detailed information for members, children's games that focus on educating youth about electric safety as well as activities and resources for teachers.
To help increase the safety awareness and well-being for its members, your cooperative provides a safety program for interested groups. This interactive program is ideal for school and community organizations and focuses on the importance of high voltage safety. The safety demonstration is an innovative teaching aid designed to convey important messages on electrical safety. The model size electrical system allows the audience to witness the result of electrical contact with conductors such as trees, ladders and vehicles. To help further convey the seriousness of electrical safety, special effects including neon figures that light up and electrical arcs are incorporated.
This educational demonstration has been successfully utilized at schools, 4-H meetings, church groups, scouting events and farm safety day camps. In addition to high voltage electrical safety, the generation and transmission of electricity, household electrical safety and careers in the electrical field can also be discussed.
"Teach Learn Care TLC" Campaign: Safe on the bus
On an April morning in 2016, Clint Shults was driving a school bus to take students to an FFA competition in Rangely, Colorado. The team’s horse judging coach, Silvia, followed the bus in her car. Heavy, wet snow had been accumulating, and the bus snagged a power line just as it was falling to the ground under the weight of the snow. “We started dragging power lines for the next at least 100 yards, and knew we were in pretty tough shape,” Clint says. From behind the bus, Silvia witnessed several bursts of fire. Fortunately, Clint, dispatch, and first responders knew the right steps to take to keep everyone safe.
Visit MiEnergy's YouTube page to watch the three minute video.
Driver's Education Video: Surviving Auto Accidents Involving Downed Power Lines
Each year, accidents in which motorists hit power poles happen tens of thousands of times. Each accident has the potential to bring live power lines to the ground. Tragically, many drivers and passengers who survive the impact are electrocuted when they attempt to leave the vehicle. In the vast majority of cases, the safest action is to stay inside the vehicle until the local electric utility is on the scene to assure the lines are de-energized.
Visit MiEnergy's YouTube page to watch a video produced by Safe Electricity. The six minute video features the story of two teenagers who experienced an accident involving downed power lines. Because they had recently learned the right steps to take, they survived. It includes clips from a live power line demonstration explaining why its vital to stay inside the vehicle until the electric utility confirms that the lines are de-energized.
When you start to plan for a new grain bin, please contact your electric cooperative. MiEnergy will provide assistance in planning for a safe environment for everyone working and living around grain bins. The State of Iowa requires specific clearances for electric lines around grain bins, with different standards for those filled by portable and permanent augers, conveyors and elevators.
According to the Iowa Electric Safety Code found in Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 199 – 25.2(3)b. An electric utility may refuse to provide electric service to any grain bin built near an existing electric line which does not provide the clearances required by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C2-2012, page 120. “National Electric Safety Code,” Rule 234f. This paragraph “b” shall apply only to grain bins loaded by portable augers, conveyors or elevators and built after September 9, 1992, or to grain bins loaded by permanently installed augers, conveyors or elevators built after December 24, 1997. (As adopted by the Iowa Utilities Board)
MiEnergy is required by the Iowa Utilities Board to provide this annual notice to farmers, farm lenders, grain bin merchants, and city and county zoning officials. If you have any questions concerning clearance regulations, please call MiEnergy Cooperative at (800) 432-2285.
Disclaimer: These drawings are provided as part of Iowa electric cooperatives’ annual public information campaign and are based on the 2012 Edition of the NESC as corrected. To view the actual drawings refer to 2012 Edition National Electrical Safety Code and the Errata to 2012 Edition National Electrical Safety Code Correction Sheet issued April 29, 2013. Every care has been taken for the correctness of the contents of these drawings. However, the IAEC and its member cooperatives accept no liability whatsoever for omissions or errors, technical inaccuracies, typographical mistakes or for damages of any kind arising from the use of the contents of these drawings, whether textual or graphical.
Are you planning to move a grain bin?
It’s very important to call MiEnergy if you are planning on moving a grain bin.
Need more information?
Preparation and Awareness Are Keys to a Safe Harvest
Harvest season is one of the busiest times of year for farmers—and among the most dangerous. Before taking to the fields, Safe Electricity and MiEnergy Cooperative urge farm workers to be aware of overhead power lines and to keep equipment and extensions far away from them. Safe Electricity and MiEnergy encourage farm managers to share this information with their families, and workers to keep them safe from farm related electrical accidents.
Start each morning by planning your day’s work. Know what jobs will happen near power lines, and have a plan to keep the assigned workers safe.
- Keep yourself and equipment 10 feet away from power lines in all directions, at all times.
- Use care when raising augers or the bed of a grain truck. It can be difficult to estimate distance and sometimes a power line is closer than it looks. Use a spotter to make certain you stay far away from power lines.
- Always lower portable augers or elevators to their lowest possible level, under 14 feet, before moving or transporting them. Wind, uneven ground, shifting weight or other conditions can cause you to lose control of equipment and make contact with power lines.
- Be aware of increased height when loading and transporting larger modern tractors with higher antennas.
- Never attempt to raise or move a power line to clear a path. If power lines near your property have sagged over time, call your utility to repair them.
- Don’t use metal poles when breaking up bridged grain inside and around bins.
- As in any outdoor work, be careful not to raise any equipment such as ladders, poles or rods into power lines. Remember, non-metallic materials such as lumber, tree limbs, tires, ropes, and hay will conduct electricity depending on dampness and dust and dirt contamination.
- Use qualified electricians for work on drying equipment and other farm electrical systems.
- If you are on equipment that makes contact with a power line, do not exit the equipment. When you step off the equipment, you become the electricity’s path to ground and receive a potentially fatal shock. Wait until utility workers have de-energized the line and confirmed that it is safe for you to exit the vehicle. If the vehicle is on fire and you must exit, jump clear of the vehicle with both feet together. Hop as far from the vehicle as you can with your feet together. Keep your feet together prevents you from getting a shock.
Electrical work around the farm can also pose hazards. Often the need for an electrical repair comes at a time when a farmer has been working long hours and is fatigued. At such times it’s best to step back and wait until you’ve rested. Make sure you have the level of expertise required to do the electrical work, and never hesitate contact a qualified electrician when appropriate. Doing electrical work is also a good time to check your wires because mice and other animals tend to chew at them, leaving the electrical hazard of bare wires that can cause electrical shorts and potentially fatal shocks.