Safety for Horticulturists and Pickers

Horticultural workers have some of the highest levels of injury and fatalities from power lines. Click here to find out what to do in an emergency.

Orchards often have overhead power lines near or running through them. Following these simple rules can ensure everyone working on site stays safe.

Identify the lines

Before pruning or picking, locate all power lines on the property. Do not touch or work on any tree that is touching or near power lines. Always keep 4m away from overhead power lines.

Every line must be treated as live. You don’t need to touch a line to be in danger; electricity can arc (jump) through the air to your equipment and to you. 

Moving equipment around lines

When moving tall machinery, choose a route where power lines are high enough to give adequate clearance. Lifting equipment should be in a lowered position before being moved near lines.

Know where the power lines are before raising the platforms of hydraladas, cherry pickers, EWPs and dump truck beds.

Training vines

Do not use wires to train vines along the same path as overhead power lines. A broken wire flicking upwards can come into contact with nearby lines.

Trees and power lines

Because orchards 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.

Please download and print our 4m rule posters to display on your notice boards and workshops.
Safe distances poster - what to do
Safe distances poster - what not to do

Last Updated: 14 May 2020 - 10:50:16