Case Study: Farmer rescued from downed powered lines

A farmer in Michigan was rescued unharmed after power lines fell on his tractor. This is a great example of a near-miss where the farmer could have been killed or seriously injured but got out unharmed because he responded correctly to the situation, so I thought I’d write up a quick overview.

What happened: A farmer was discing his field and hit a power pole. The power lines dropped on top of his tractor and equipment. The farmer called 911 from his tractor and first responders shut off the power so that he could get out safely. A fairly large area briefly lost power but no one was harmed.

What went wrong: Basically the only thing that went wrong in this situation was the farmer hitting the power pole. Obviously avoiding obstacles in the field is important and if the farmer had avoided the pole none of this would have been necessary, but after that point their response to the situation was perfect and no one was hurt.

The hazards involved:Live electrical wires are extremely dangerous, and can cause death and severe injury if someone touches them while the power is flowing. Additionally, because the tractor and equipment are made of metal, the equipment itself may have been carrying a charge depending on where the cables landed.

What went right: Most importantly, the farmer didn’t try to get out of the tractor or touch the door handle or the outside of the tractor. They called 911 and waited for the power company to turn off the power so that they could get out safely. Carrying a cell phone with them was critical in this case because they were able to get help quickly and didn’t risk either leaving the tractor themselves or someone finding them and getting electrocuted in the process of getting out. Emergency services did a great job handling this too. They got the power shut off and let the people whose power got shut off for a while know what was happening. They didn’t send any of their people in until they were sure the power was off.

The bottom line: Power lines and electricity in general is very dangerous and because you can’t see it, it’s easy to accidentally touch something that is live and get shocked. If you are ever in a situation where there are downed power lines don’t touch them, call 911, and if you’re in a vehicle stay inside until you get the all-clear. This situation could have gone from equipment damage to someone being severely injured or killed very easily, but the way that the farmer and emergency services responded to the situation prevented a bad situation from getting much worse.

Here is the original story from AgDaily:

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