Safety for Farmers
There are often many risks from power and gas networks around farms. Click here to find out what to do in an emergency.
Power lines and poles
Keep 4m away from power lines at all times. Electricity can arc (jump) through the air from power lines to you or your equipment within this distance. Treat every power line as live at all times.
Always take care when working around the guy wires (or stays) that are attached to power poles. Bumping them can cause poles to lean and power lines to sag.
Park stock trucks and large vehicles such as harvesters away from overhead lines, and work well away from lines 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.
Trees and Power lines
Because farms have lots of equipment, it’s tempting to trim or remove trees yourself or help others to do so. If a tree is within 4m of the overhead lines you must use an approved contractor to have it trimmed. Click here for more information.
Moving equipment round the farm
When moving tall machinery or vehicles, choose a route where power lines are high enough to give adequate clearance. Keep lifting equipment in a lowered position when moving under lines.
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 4m from power lines at all times whether they are in use or not.
Farmers and fencers have been injured and killed when fence wire has snapped and flicked up onto power lines. Keep fencing away from the path of overhead lines.
When working with power tools, use a safety switch also known as an RCD (residual-current device). If there’s a problem this will trip the power before any harm.
You need to be careful if you’re planning any earthworks, landscaping, fencing or drainage on your farm. Electricity cables and gas pipes might be under the paddocks, in your garden, under your driveway or under the roadside verge.
It’s quite common to use the roadside for grazing or haymaking. But make sure you find our where underground power cables or gas mains are first, before you drive in things like waratahs.
There is a special free service called beforeUdig that you can contact to find out where underground cables and gas mains are on or near your farm.