Hawaiian Electric today reminded customers to use extreme caution when picking fruit near overhead power lines after a man was injured while picking breadfruit last week in Wahiawa.
The man was using a metal fruit picker when it contacted a power line, according to Hawaiian Electric.
Since 2014, the utility has reported anywhere from zero to two incidents a year in which a member of the public has been seriously injured or has died due to contact with electrical equipment.
“With summer right around the corner, many residents look forward to harvesting local fruits across Hawaiian Electric’s five-island service territory,” said the utility in a news release. “But the company wants residents to stay safe and avoid serious injury – or death – when picking fruits near power lines.”
Hawaiian Electric offered these following tips to avoid risk:
>> Always look up and around for power lines before starting any harvesting or trimming activity. If any part of the tree is touching overhead power lines, the tree can become energized and you should not touch the tree.
>> Use the 10-foot-rule: Always keep your body and any ladders, tools or other implements at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
>> Don’t use ladders or fruit pickers near power lines. Keep any type of ladders, fruit pickers, poles or other tools at least 10 feet away from the lines.
>> Never trim trees that have power lines going through them or touch any tree limb that may fall into a power line. It is strongly recommended that one hire a qualified arborist to trim and maintain your trees, especially trees near power lines.
>> If a person comes into contact with a power line, assume the line is energized and dangerous. Do not attempt to free the person from the power line. Steer clear, warn others to keep away, and call 911 immediately.
>> If you see any object caught in a power line, assume the line is energized and do not attempt to free it yourself. Call Hawaiian Electric’s Trouble Line.
Hawaiian Electric’s Trouble Line by island.
>> Oahu: 1-855-304-1212
>> Maui: 871-7777
>> Molokai/Lanai: 1-877-871-8461
>> Hawaii island: 969-6666