Frost control machines need TLC
2 March 2006
The Department of Labour has issued recommendations for the safe operation of wind machines in orchards and vineyards.
Wind machines are used to provide frost protection for crops, by moving warmer air above the ground down to the fruit and vine level. There are three known brands of wind machines used in New Zealand, and machine failures aren’t uncommon, chief advisor, health and safety Mike Cosman said.
“These machines do have the potential to fail unless properly operated and maintained, and there are a number of requirements to ensure their safe operation.”
The recommendations include: not operating a wind machine in winds of more than 7km/h, protecting the machine from irrigation sprays, and seasonally maintaining the machines.
Building, and sometimes resource, consents are required before wind machines can be erected for frost control, he said. Noise and placement restrictions also apply, depending on individual district councils.
“It’s important to talk to council planners in the early stages so that the machines comply with the consents procedures.”The safe operating guidelines for wind machines can be found at http://www.osh.dol.govt.nz/
To the journalist: please note that health and safety services formerly
referred to as Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) should now be referred
to as the Department of Labour.