Over here last week, there was an incident that really caught my eye. A boy from up North in Rotorua, climbed a Walnut tree that was close to some 11kV lines, apparently he was able to touch the said lines. This was his downfall, he touched one of these lines and recieved horrific burns and other such injuries. In the news, it was said that the power company was all to blame, for placing a pole(it had a Xformer on it too) so close to a tree and also the local council was to blame, for not cutting the tree down, with it being so close to the lines. The mother of the boy, blames both of the parties, saying that they did not prevent her child from being injured. Who would you blame here?, in this age of "Finger-pointing", I would sink the blame with the 11 y/o boy who climbed the darn tree in the first place. What's your opinion on this
Funnily enough, I drove down a road a couple of days ago and saw a situation like this. It was a pole with 11kv xfmr and sectionalizing switches on it, right in front of some trees. From ground level, it looked as though quite a few of the branches were already in danger of touching the energized conductors any moment, and certainly in desparate need of trimming back.
But in this case, I agree that an 11-year-old boy should know enough not to climb anywhere near overhead power lines.
Or am I just being naive due to my education in electrcity from a very early age?
Re: Boy climbs tree, gets a shock(NZ)#149249 09/02/0302:10 AM09/02/0302:10 AM
Jim, (hehe) Yeah, Over here in recent years, there have been situations where youngsters have put thier own lives and those of others at risk. One such incident springs to mind in that a 14 y/o boy broke into a 66kV sub-station in Taupo(just down the road from Rotorua) and was found sitting atop a 66kV transformer. One callout that I was involved in when I had just finished my time as a Line Mechanic, was a kid that that climbed a 33kV pole with an Air-Break switch at the top of it and when we got there (0230HRS) he was just below the ABS itself and couldn't get down and he was drunk (at 16 y/o!). Jack(the other Liney) and I nearly lost the EWP that night with the really soft ground and Jack got tipped out of the bucket, only his pole belt saved him from a very nasty fall, trying to get the kid off the pole. Even then he only got a terse warning from the Police.
Re: Boy climbs tree, gets a shock(NZ)#149251 09/13/0312:45 AM09/13/0312:45 AM
I had an incident last night that caused me to ring the Police, I went out to a complaint of a place having no power. It was a fair distance (23km) out in the country and I thought it would just be a case of worn out DDO's, but when I got there, I noticed a youth lying down under the pole where the spur line was taken off, I immediately rang the Ambulance and proceeded to check the guys vital signs, with that, the young fella, jumped up and started throwing punches at me, which never seemed to connect, as he was way out of his tree. Turns out, what had happened, was that he had split up with his girlfriend and was disconnecting the power(she lived at this house with her parents), to teach her a lesson for dumping him!. I called the cops, as he never really calmed down and threatened to kill me, if I dared to put the power back on to the house. I knocked him out with my Hot-stick, only to do my job, which is re-new supply to a house!. I didn't mean to do it and it was only a last resort, because this guy wouldn't let me anywhere near the pole and he was getting really annoying. Poor guy, in some respects, i really feel for him, relationships when they fall over, causes awful reactions in humans.
Re: Boy climbs tree, gets a shock(NZ)#149252 09/14/0307:19 AM09/14/0307:19 AM
That sounds like a nasty situation to be in. I've never been unfortunate enough to get involved with anything like that, but at one house I was working in some time ago there was a family quarrel going on between the parents and the eldest son, the latter being threatened with eviction.
It wasn't a pleasant atmosphere in which to work.
Re: Boy climbs tree, gets a shock(NZ)#149253 11/29/0310:52 PM11/29/0310:52 PM
Paul, Sorry but I really got the wrong end of the stick on my original story. It turns out that the tree and the 11kV lines were on private property, as in a Spur line, leading off from the 11kV lines that passed the property. There has been a BIG argument over here, for years about easements caused by HV and EHV lines passing over peoples properties. This whole thing is starting to border on the ridiculous, as in asking people to trim/fell any trees that get too close to any HV/EHV lines. This is just a recipe for disaster, you know what people are like cutting trees down. At one time we had a dedicated Tree Crew for this sort of thing. Just means that us Lineys will get called to more line breaks and the Fire Service will get called to more Grass Fires.
Re: Boy climbs tree, gets a shock(NZ)#149254 11/30/0312:00 AM11/30/0312:00 AM
I don’t know if it is a parallel, but in general change in the US over that last decade or so, utilities are reducing their tree-trimming efforts. Local stories about contacts with distribution lines seem to get local coverage, but also the August 2003 northeastern-US and July/August 1996 western-US outages seem to have been blamed on line-tree contacts. It may be just an easy thing to blame, but I don’t think that maintenance budgets are increasing, and until it really starts costing utilities in legal settlements, budgets probably won’t change much.