Safety for crane operators, users and owners

Overhead power lines are a critical hazard for cranes

If your crane or its load comes into contact with power lines, it can conduct electricity - puting the crane operator, dogman, and all those nearby at risk of being electrocuted. Electrocution can seriously harm or even kill you.

Electricity can arc (jump) through the air even without direct contact, so ensure you keep at least 4 metres between your equipment, load and power lines at all times.

Stay alert for electrical hazards

  • Ensure your planning takes any electrical hazards into account.
  • There must be sufficient clearance between the crane and other structures or plant.
  • The path of the load must be carefully planned, and at no point come within 4 metres of overhead power lines.

Keep your teammates safe

It's important that you make sure others on your work site are aware of the dangers posed by working around transmission lines, and that these hazards are taken into account during planning and throughout the work.

You can read more about crane safety from Worksafe.

You can also read more about crane safety near high voltage lines in the December 2018 issue of Lifting Matters.

If in doubt, ask us

One of our people can visit you to discuss your particular situation, and advise on the potential impact and risks of what you want to do and how to proceed (for example, you may need to obtain engineering advice). We can help you manage the work to ensure safety around your site.

If you have any questions or want advice, call us on 0800 THE GRID (0800 843 4743).

Safety signage available

Education is critical to keeping people safe around our lines. We have warning signs and stickers available for you to place in crane cabs, as well as a laminated crane safety poster for you to display in your tea room.

We encourage you to use the signs and stickers to help remind you to 'Look out and look up.' To request any of these resources for your site or equipment, contact us via our website or email us direct at:

Electrical Safe Distances are set out in New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice 34 (NZECP 34:2001). 

Remember ...

Transmission lines carry electricity at very high voltages. Getting too close to them is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.