Orchard safety

Look up and beware of overhead power lines

Horticultural workers have some of the highest rates of injury and death from power lines. That’s because orchards often have overhead lines running through them, so there’s significant risk of you or your equipment accidentally touching lines. People and equipment must stay 4m away from overhead lines – electricity can jump to your equipment and to you.

The Troy Hall story

The first shock killed him. The second brought him back to life. Troy Hall survived two electric shocks after getting too close to overhead lines while working in an avocado orchard. Watch his story.

Working safely in orchards

  • Keep at least 4m away from overhead power lines.
  • Don’t touch or work on trees or vines touching or near lines.
  • Check where lines are before raising hydraladas, cherry pickers or truck beds.
  • Lower lifting equipment before moving it.
  • Don’t use wire to train vines along the same path as lines.
  • A broken wire flicking upwards can come into contact with lines.

Trees near lines

If a tree is within 4m of overhead lines, you must use an approved contractor to have it trimmed.

Find out more

Buildings near lines

Artificial shelter belts and canopies must be kept a minimum safe distance clear of lines both underneath and to the side.

Find out more