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Power lines and trees; extreme care required

Power lines and trees; extreme care required

Richard Tregoweth - Friday, June 15, 2012

The availability of highly specialized arborist equipment is great if you are qualified to use it but in the wrong hands this very same equipment can be deadly.

Amateurs generally know their limitations when it comes to climbing gear but the same cannot be said for insulated pole saws and pruners.

The words 'insulated' seems to lull people into a sense of false security. Many newbies translate the term 'insulated' or 'safe-stik' to mean they can happily work around power lines without a care in the world.

Below is an excellent video produced by Xcel Energy in the US. The voltages are different and the measurements are imperial but you should get the general idea. Note the number of deaths annually.

For reference the NZ Minimum Approach Distance (MAD) to power lines is 4m.

Treetools makes every effort to 'qualify' customers when it comes to the purchase of dangerous kit (you could argue that covers most things we sell) but the occasional amateur cons us into thinking they know what they are doing.

So, we'll say it again for the record; please be ultra conservative if you are doing any tree work near or around power lines. Do not undertake the work if you are not qualified to do so - get in the experts!

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