14 Aug 2009

Coroner wants residents warned of power line danger

4:21 pm on 14 August 2009

The Hawke's Bay Coroner is recommending that power lines companies do more to make people aware of the dangers of live power cables beneath the grass berm outside their homes.

The recommendation follows the death of seven-year-old boy in Napier last year. He was electrocuted when he touched a steel standard his grandfather had driven into the grass berm outside his home.

Coroner Chris Devonport's investigation revealed power cables at the site had been laid and protected according to the Electrical Supply Regulations.

However, he says the boy's death is a reminder that live power cables laid underneath the berm pose very real public safety risks.

Unison Networks spokesperson Danny Gough says the Hawke's Bay lines company has ramped up its efforts to communiticate the dangers, including using radio, newspapers and a safety in schools programme.

Mr Gough says the company is working with councils and roading authorities in Hawke's Bay and the Bay of Plenty to make sure the messages about the dangers of underground cables are consistent.