Planting and trimming vegetation

If you’re planting crops and plants on your property you should firstly check for overhead powerlines and avoid planting under or near them. Electricity can jump….a long way, so if you’re using machinery it’s important to implement exclusion zones around powerlines. 

Safety tips

  • Treat all power lines as live.
  • Look at the site and identify hazards.
  • Assess the risk of injuring yourself and others.
  • Use appropriate control measures.
  • Do not allow any part of your body or anything you’re holding or have attached to your body enter the exclusion zone.
  • Do not trim trees or manage vegetation where any part of the tree or vegetation to be treated or worked with is within the exclusion zone.
  • Do not trim trees or manage vegetation where any part of the tree or vegetation could fall or be carried into the exclusion zone.

Be aware of potentially dangerous situations like:

  • wind or wet weather pushing vegetation into the safe approach distance
  • obstacles preventing safe access
  • cutting equipment such as chainsaws kicking back or moving inadvertently
  • the boom of an elevating work platform or cherry picker straying into exclusion zones.

Control measures

Keep yourself and anything you are holding outside the exclusion zone. This is an important control measure.

Other examples of possible control measures include:

  • ask the electricity distributor to isolate lines and apparatus
  • have the distributor do the work
  • use equipment designed for particular risks
  • control traffic that hinders safe access.

For more examples of measures when clearing vegetation, read the Electrical safety code of practice 2020 - Working near overhead and underground electric lines (PDF, 476.8 KB).

Working safely near powerlines
Working safely near powerlines