Emera Maine Logging & Farming Safety

Recently, Emera Maine has experienced a number of incidents with logging and farming machinery coming close to or having contact with power lines. Situations like these can potentially have tragic consequences. There is nothing more important to us than sending our employees home safe and well each and every day. We are reaching out with information to help those in the logging and farming industry do the same.

Operating any type of equipment that encroaches upon power lines can potentially risk the safety of the operator and others nearby. Fortunately there were no injuries associated with the recent events we’ve experienced. However, extensive damage to machinery and power outages did result from these incidents. In some cases, power outages affected local businesses, schools, and emergency services. Expenses were also incurred from the time and effort Emera Maine needed to determine the cause of the outage and re-establish power.

Our Safety Around Power Lines (PDF) guide includes important information for logging, farming, or any activity that has the possibility of coming near or contacting power lines. Some key things to remember are:

  • Stay clear of lines. The very best practice is to avoid power lines altogether, including parking, loading, or storing any equipment under our power lines.
  • Look up! When working around power lines, signs to remind workers of overhead lines can save a life.
  • Maintain a distance of 20 feet. Ensure no part of any vehicle, equipment, or person is operating within 20 feet of power lines. For work that requires closer proximity, please refer to OSHA rules and the Maine Overhead High Voltage Safety Act.
  • No line is safe to touch. Trees, limbs, and equipment can all conduct electricity. You cannot tell if a line is energized simply by looking at it.

In cases where work distances are needed that are closer than outlined by OSHA and Maine State rules, notify Emera Maine a minimum of 72 hours in advance so we can evaluate and implement the needed safety arrangements. If a limb, tree, or equipment comes in contact with or brings down a line, even if something just brushes the lines, contact Emera Maine immediately. For all life-threatening or emergency situations, contact emergency services before calling Emera Maine.

Should you have any questions about operating safely around electrical lines, please call our Customer Contact Center at 1-855-EMERA-11 (1.855.363.7211) or 1.207.973.2000.