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AL Bulletin 210-14-1

Date:  December 4, 2013

Subject:  ENG – Safety When Working Around Irrigation Systems

Purpose: To ensure safety while providing technical assistance in the operation, maintenance, inspection and checking of irrigation systems, employees must be aware of the potential hazards associated with irrigation systems and exercise safe practices when working around irrigation systems.

Expiration Date: September 30, 2014.

Due to a recent accident in another state involving a center pivot irrigation system, NRCS Alabama is reminding employees of the potential hazards when working around irrigation systems and providing information on safety precautions. Anyone working around a center pivot irrigation system must take required safety precautions seriously.

Attached is a slide presentation prepared by Gregory L. Stark, Texas A&M University, Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department, “Safety Around Irrigation Systems.” All NRCS personnel and NRCS partners who provide technical assistance on irrigation systems on behalf of NRCS are required to review the attached presentation. The attached presentation will help identify potential hazards and safe practices to ensure a safe work environment for those working around various types of irrigation systems.

To assist in protecting the employees from potential hazards, it is recommended that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) be worn by all employees who work around irrigation systems. PPE recommended when working around irrigation systems include the following:

  • Hard hat
  • Ear plugs or ear muffs
  • Appropriate eye protection
  • Gloves (rubber or leather)

Employees must not work around irrigation systems without proper PPE and equipment. Employees who need PPE and equipment for working around irrigation systems should contact their supervisor.

To avoid electrical accidents, one should make a practice to always lightly brush the back of the hand against any irrigation system metal structure or enclosure before grasping with the palm. Testing the system this way will help to ensure the hand will not clamp around the metal structure if shocked by electricity.

If you ever have any doubts about the safety of any electrical powered equipment,walk away and ask the land owner or operator to call a qualified electrician.

If you have any questions regarding irrigation safety, please contact your Resource Engineer.


State Conservation Engineer

Attachment: Slide presentation -Safety Around Irrigation Systems.



Dist:  E