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Bins require clearance from power lines

As rewarding as it may be, farming is an extremely difficult job. It ranks among the top 10 most dangerous professions in the United States. At your local electric cooperative, safety is top priority for everyone.

Our farmers work hard to get the job done, and sometimes it’s easy to forget all the necessary steps to take when practicing safe operations. Grain bins play an integral role in the efficiency and profitability of farm and ranch operations, and safety regulations should always be considered when working around these structures.

Whether you’re purchasing new grain bins or remodeling areas that contain existing ones, proximity to overhead power lines must be a considered factor.

Safe clearance. The National Electrical Safety Code requires an 18-foot minimum vertical clearance from the highest p

Graphic of bin safety that shows what the height of a bin should be for safety purposes

oint of the filling port of the grain bin to nearby high-voltage wires and a 55-foot minimum distance from the power line to the grain bin wall. See the chart for further guidelines. Changes to landscaping and drainage work can affect clearance heights of power lines, so remember to check these measurements regularly.

Filling grain bins. High-voltage power lines are not insulated, so it’s important to remember to maintain an ade

quate high-wire clearance when using a portable auger, conveyor or elevator to fill your grain bin.

Moving equipment near grain bins. When moving equipment, such as a hopper or a scaffold, be aware of nearby power lines. Remember to maintain a 10-foot clearance to ensure safety.

Accidents can happen in a split second, which is why your local electric cooperative reminds you to always use caution when working near power lines. If you are considering a plan for a new grain bin or reconstruction of an existing bin’s site, please contact your local electric cooperative. Let us assist you in maintaining a safe environment for you and your family. <

* Based on a typical power line having a vertical clearance of 18.5 feet above the ground and a supply line phase to ground voltage of more than OV to 22KV; National Electrical Safety Code Rule 232.