Vehicles and mobile plant (including irrigators) working near overhead electric lines can damage the line and be hazardous for the plant operator, the mobile plant and people in the vicinity.
MainPower requires any mobile plant working near power lines to meet the requirements of section 5 of the New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Electrical Safe Distances (NZECP 34:2001).
These rules are a legal requirement to ensure the safety of the general public and those working near power lines.
Key rules are sections:
5.2.1 The distance between any live overhead electric line and any part of any mobile plant or load carried shall be “AT LEAST 4.0 METRES”, unless the operator has received written consent from the overhead electric line owner allowing a reduced distance.
5.3.1 Mobile plant or any load carried shall not operate above the conductors of any overhead electric line unless the operator has received written consent from the overhead electric line owner to work above the overhead electric line.
Boat operators should ensure they are always aware of power lines and cables while on the water and at boat ramps. Always remember to:
Aircraft safety - wire strike
Since 1979, New Zealand helicopter pilots have had 116 wire strikes, resulting in 28 deaths. Any aircraft flying below 500 ft is at risk of a wire strike, but helicopters are especially susceptible due to the nature of the work they do. Wire strike is preventable, but only with a well-planned safety programme to identify hazards and put mitigations in place. For more information, see the fact sheet produced by Worksafe's Safer Farms programme, or visit the Civil Aviation Authority website.
Lines Down Means Danger
Bad weather and vehicle accidents can bring lines down. Stay well clear of fallen power lines and warn others of the danger. Keep animals out of the way and always assume lines are live. If you are inside a vehicle involved in an accident, stay in the vehicle and phone MainPower for assistance.
If you are outside the vehicle
If you are inside the vehicle
For more information read the Look Up, Look Out fact sheet.