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farm safety

Stay Safe on the Farm

We are proud to serve communities with strong rural roots. Farming is an integral part of our lives and we want to help farmers and their families stay safe while working around electricity.

Farm Safety Tips

Safety is at the heart of everything we do. We have a number of helpful hints to ensure farm workers can stay safe and avoid electrical hazards while working.

  • Look up, look out and watch for overhead lines. Be sure to lower grain augers before moving them and keep at least three metres from overhead powerlines at all times.
  • Large haystacks can look like play areas for children to climb on. Ensure they are at least three metres from overhead powerlines to keep everyone safe.
  • Look out for downed powerlines on your property. High winds or severe weather could cause overhead wires to fall. If you spot a downed power line stay back at least 10 metres, call 9-1-1 and Enova.
  • Be careful when you are moving or storing pipes near power lines. Stack them safely away from power lines. An irrigation pipe can become an electricity conductor through water and through metal pipes. Always keep pipes at least 30 metres away from high voltage lines so inadvertent actions do not cause a shock.
  • Remember, you don’t need to come into contact with a power line to be in danger. Electricity can jump or arc from a powerline to an object that gets too close. Always maintain a safe distance from overhead powerlines and electrical equipment.
  • If you’re completing a project that involves digging, call before you dig. Contact Ontario One Call online or call 1-800-400-2255 to request your free locate – it’s the law. Please make your request at least five days before you want to start digging

Stray Voltage

You care about the health and safety of your animals – and so do we. We want to make you aware of the potential dangers of stray voltage and the impacts it may have on your livestock.

What is stray voltage?

Varying amounts of low-level voltage may exist between the earth and electrically grounded farm equipment such as metal stabling, feeders, or milk pipelines. These voltages, known as “Animal Contact Voltage (ACV)”, “Stray Voltage” or “Tingle Voltage,” usually, present no harm. However, if the voltage level is high enough, they may affect livestock behavior and health.

What are the causes of stray voltage?

A variety of sources can cause stray voltage including: farm wiring and grounding issues, unbalanced farm load, equipment faults, or voltage from other sources such as telephone lines, gas lines and utility electrical distribution systems.

What are the Effects of Stray Voltage?

Tell-tale signs typically include cows being nervous at milking (especially in the milking parlors), cows refusing to enter the parlor and anxious to leave, increased frequency of defecation and/or urination in parlor as well as the reluctance to consume feed or water. Find more information on the effects of stray voltage on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) website.

How do I reduce the impact of stray voltage?

If there is a source of stray voltage on your farm, you may perform mitigation measures such as installing a neutral isolating device, additional electrical bonding between contact points, wiring upgrades, or faulty equipment replacement. Be sure to have a qualified electrician perform the work and make sure it meets the requirements of the Electrical Safety Code. If the utility distribution system is the source of the Stray Voltage, the utility will take the appropriate corrective actions.

What do I do if I have a problem with stray voltage?

If you believe that you have a problem with stray voltage, please complete the Stray Voltage Investigation Request Form. All applications must be made in writing and be complete in order to process. We will contact you within five business days after you submit your application and provided a service order number. We will then notify you in advance to arrange the date of our first visit to your site.

What will an investigation look like?

Additional Stray Voltage Resources

To better help you understand stray voltage and learn ways to limit potential issues, the Electrical Safety Authority has created a helpful guide to assist. A Farmer’s Guide to Basic Troubleshooting on Farm Stray Voltage is a great one-stop resource to help you. As always, if you have questions at any time, please contact us at [phone number] or [email] and we would be happy to help you.

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