Safety for farmers

Stay aware of hazards

Most of your day-to-day activities should be unaffected by the presence of our transmission lines. However, there are some things to be aware of – especially when you’ve got your head down and you’re focusing on the task at hand, not on what’s around you.

Stay at a safe distance

Keep 4 metres away from power lines at all times, and 6 metres away from 220 kV lines.

Electricity can arc (jump) through the air from power lines to you, to trees, or to your equipment within this distance. Treat every power line as live at all times.

Park stock trucks and large vehicles (such as harvesters) away from overhead lines, and work well away from towers and poles. Keep clear of power lines when working on the upper levels of stock trucks or on high loads.

Look up and check where lines are before raising any tractor attachments, augers, ladders, or using any lifting equipment or raising dump truck beds.

Be careful with your irrigation system. Store, load and unload metal irrigation pipes well away from power lines. If you need to stand them up, make sure you’re well clear of any lines. Keep jet irrigators and the booms of rotary irrigators clear of all power lines. The tips of rotary irrigators must be kept 4 metres from power lines at all times whether they are in use or not (or 6 metres if near a 220 kV line).

Work safely around and under lines

Be cautious when moving vehicles with elevated platforms (e.g. grain augers, ladders, drills and dump truck beds).  Always have lifting equipment in a lowered position before moving it under lines. Know where the lines are.

Select a safe route when moving tall machinery – a route where the transmission lines are high enough to give at least a 4 metre clearance (or a 6 metre clearance if it’s a 220 kV line). 

Manage growth

Trees and vegetation must always be more than 4 metres away from 110 kV lines, and 6 metres away from 220 kV lines. Vegetation management is a key part of keeping safe around transmission lines and towers. Trees growing too close to power lines may cause:

  • a fault which will affect the operation of the line
  • injury or death to someone near the tree
  • damage to land and property.

Never touch or trim a tree you think may be closer than the minimum safe distance to a power line. If you are unsure of, or unable to, determine the voltage of lines near you, ensure you are never closer than 6 metres to any lines.

If you feel a tree is closer than the minimum safe distance to a line, get in touch with us and we will point you to an approved expert who can carry out the trimming safely. Also, get in touch with us if you want to discuss safe ways to manage vegetation or trees.

Earthworks, landscaping, fencing and drainage

Is anything underground at your proposed dig site? Use beforeUdig, a free service that helps you to determine the presence of underground assets. Making contact with a live power, gas or telecommunications cable could cause bodily harm and damage to property – the safest thing to do is to ensure there is nothing there before you start.

This service helps protect people, assets and communities. It’s quick and easy and free. We have an info guide with further advice here.

Also: It’s quite common to use the roadside for grazing or haymaking. But make sure you find out where underground power cables or gas mains are first!

If in doubt, ask us

One of our people can visit you to discuss your particular situation, and advise on the potential impact and risks of what you want to do and how to proceed (for example, you may need to obtain engineering advice). We can help you manage the work to ensure safety around your site, and in most cases, this will be at no cost to you.. If you want to talk to us about something, call 0508 526 369 (0508 LANDOWNER).

More information is in the part of this website for Landowners.