Working Safely Around Power Lines During Harvest Season: Look Up and Live

DURING HARVEST SEASON: Stop, look up and look around for overhead power lines.

With sugar beet and other harvest season activities underway throughout Michigan, Consumers Energy is reminding farmers and agricultural workers to look up when using equipment near overhead electric lines.

Oftentimes power lines can often be out-of-sight and out-of-mind, but it is important to identify them as hazards with workers or contractors and make a plan to always stop, look up and look around.

Also consider the following when working around power lines:

  • Safety standards require that anyone working near them stay at least 10 feet away, including 10 feet from any tools or equipment you are using.
  • Metal ladders, cranes and some other specialized equipment require a clearance of 20 feet. Higher voltages also may require greater distances.
  • If you are planning to do work near power lines and are unsure if you’re able to maintain the proper distance or who the line belongs to, call 811 any time, day or night. 
  • 811 will make a site visit, discuss voltage information and other safety options, which could include de-energizing the line or relocating it.

 For more information on safety rules and safe distances for working near power lines, visit or call (800) 866-4674. Additional safety resources for Ag workers and contractors can be found at

Did you know?  Electricity and Michigan farms have long been connected. In fact, in 1949 we brought electricity to our 100,000th Michigan farm, making MI the first state in the nation to reach that milestone.